The latest Drinks Recovery Tracker showed average drinks sales by value in managed premises hit 7% year-on-year growth during this period, attributed to the Easter Holidays and decent weather.
Year-on-year comparisons had been “skewed” by the way Easter dates fell in the calendar in 2022 and 2023, making the three-week comparison the most accurate picture of trading during this period, CGA stated.
CGA managing director UK and Ireland Johnathan Jones said: “Considering all the pressure on consumers’ disposable income, the solid performance over the Easter period is encouraging, and shows they are prioritising the on premise over other discretionary spend.”
In the week to Saturday 22 April, sales suffered from comparisons to the key Easter dates in 2022 on Monday (17 April) and Tuesday (18 April) but recovered to finish 6% ahead on Wednesday (19 April), Thursday (20 April) and Friday (21 April).
However, trade declined 1% by Saturday 22 April amid wetter weather. Additionally, CGA stated while the 7% growth showed consumers were eager to visit the on-trade, with inflation continuing to top 10%, year-on-year sales remained slightly down in real terms over Easter.
The cider and soft drinks categories both saw declines of 10% and 13% respectively while the spirits category continued to suffer from tough 2022 comparisons, with sales running 22% behind.
Jones added: “With the next five weeks containing three bank holidays we can expect further positive performance, especially if the weekends are accompanied by warmer weather.”