Drinks sales 1% down vs 2019

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Little respite: drinks sales in the on-trade return to below pre-pandemic levels (Credit: Getty/Peter Cade)
Little respite: drinks sales in the on-trade return to below pre-pandemic levels (Credit: Getty/Peter Cade)

Related tags Drinks Finance Cga

Drinks sales in Britain’s managed pubs, bars, and restaurants were 1% down in the seven days to Saturday 20 August compared with the same week in 2019, the latest CGA Drinks Recovery Tracker has revealed.

This follows two successive weeks of strong growth, with sales having been up 9%​ vs 2019 last week and 4%​ the previous​ week.

CGA managing director UK and Ireland Johnathan Jones said: “Hot weather and staycations made it a good start to August for drinks sales, so it’s frustrating to see them drop back below pre-Covid markers again.”

Week of two halves 

In line with the weather, it was a week of two halves, with sales ahead by 14% on Sunday 14, 6% on Monday 15 and 1% on Tuesday16 August.

Trading was then down by between 2% and 12% from Wednesday to Friday (17 to 19 August), before rallying to 1% up on the Saturday (20 August), though figures in the latter part of the week were slightly skewed by bank holiday comparatives in 2019, according to CGA.

Comparisons with the same week in August 2021, however, were more positive, with sales having finished 10% up year-on-year.

Though trading in that week was depressed by the lingering effects of the pandemic lockdowns.

Little respite 

Furthermore, with inflation running at around 10% and energy costs continuing to soar, year-on-year growth has effectively been wiped out, the market analyst company stated.

Category wise, spirits sales were up by 9% on the same week in 2019, as summer cocktails continued to flourish with soft drinks were up 2%, while beer, cider and wine all saw declines of 2%, 0.3% and 14% respectively.

Jones added: “With high inflation​ simultaneously squeezing consumers’ spending and adding pressure on operators’ costs, there is little respite.

“Fingers will be crossed for decent weather over the Bank Holiday weekend to help the on premise end the month on a high.”

Related topics Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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