As the nation enjoyed two successive bank holiday weekends, the figures showed average drinks sales by value in managed venues were 5% up in the seven days to Saturday 13 May compared with the same week in 2022.
Sales in the week to Saturday 29 April were almost exactly level with 2022 while trade “flourished” on Sunday 7 and Monday 8 May, when many celebrated the coronation of King Charles III.
Though sales softened the following week as consumers faced cooler weather and rail strikes, pushing trade from Tuesday to Saturday (9 to 13 May) well below last year’s levels.
Last week’s trading followed the “solid fortnight” in late April and early May, CGA stated, while the following days to Saturday 6 May, which included the May Day bank holiday, saw a 9% increase.
However, despite the “decent” year-on-year (YOY) growth, all three weeks were below the current rate of inflation, which is still in double digits, making real-terms growth “elusive” according to CGA.
Category wise, wine sales were up 7% vs 2022 in another strong performance, while beer, cider and soft drinks dipped following the coronation weekend with growth of 7% and 5% respectively. Spirits sales were just 1% up as the category continued to struggle.
This comes as the previous tracker showed sales hit 7% growth in the three weeks to Saturday 22 April.
CGA managing director UK and Ireland Johnathan Jones said: “After a bumper coronation weekend it was no great surprise to see something of a sales hangover in the days that followed.
“Consumers are clearly keeping a close eye on their spending in all areas, especially since we’ve enjoyed three bank holidays in five weeks.
“But with all our consumer research pointing to a desire to prioritise spending on eating and drinking out over other discretionary areas, we can be cautiously optimistic of more solid growth as we move into the summer.”