Drinks sales growth held back by inflation despite YOY increase

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Sales hangover: drinks sales remain below inflation despite year-on-year growth (Credit: Getty/Wavebreakmedia)
Sales hangover: drinks sales remain below inflation despite year-on-year growth (Credit: Getty/Wavebreakmedia)

Related tags Finance Cga Wine Spirits Cider Beer

Drinks sales achieved “solid” growth in the first half of May, the latest Drinks Recovery Tracker from CGA by NIQ has revealed.

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.

Solid fortnight 

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.

Sales hangover 

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.” 


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