The latest Drinks Recovery Tracker from CGA by NIQ revealed drinks sales in Britain’s managed pubs and bars during the seven days to Saturday 27 May finished 2% ahead of the same week in 2022.
While this was down slightly from the previous week, where drinks sales hit 5%, the data showed a “solid” month of trading for operators and suppliers in May, according to CGA.
CGA managing director UK and Ireland Johnathan Jones said: “A fifth consecutive week of year-on-year growth is another encouraging sign for the on premise as we move into the key summer months.”
All five weekdays last week were in growth, with trade having peaked at 20% and 21% on Monday and Wednesday (22 and 24 May), as high temperatures lured people out to drink in pub and bar gardens or terraces.
However, the week was “bookended” by an 8% dip in sales on both Sunday (21 May) and Saturday (27 May).
Category-wise, the tracker showed “strong growth” for cider (up 22%), which always benefits from warmer weather.
Additionally, beer and soft drinks recorded solid growth, up 5% and 3% respectively, while wine and spirits showed weaker trade, with wine sales up 0.2% and spirits in decline by 11%.
The latest Business Confidence Survey from CGA by NIQ revealed optimism among operators had risen since the start of the year, with the proportion of leaders feeling confident about the eating and drinking out market rising ten percentage points, to 40%, quarter-on-quarter.
However, all figures in the business survey were below pre-pandemic levels as firms showed ongoing concern regarding the impacts of inflation on hospitality, with a quarter of businesses having operated at a loss in the first quarter of 2023.
Jones added: “Operators continue to face strong headwinds of high inflation, increased cost-of-living and rail strikes in June, so whilst there is opportunity in the market, challenges remain as well.”