Drinks sales dip below 2022 levels at the end of August

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Marginal growth: drinks sales 1% ahead in the week to 26 August (Credit:Getty/  DisobeyArt)
Marginal growth: drinks sales 1% ahead in the week to 26 August (Credit:Getty/ DisobeyArt)

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Drinks sales in managed venues showed “modest growth” overall in the week leading up to the August bank holiday weekend, though some days showed year-on-year decline.

The latest Daily Drinks Tracker, formerly the Drinks Recovery Tracker, from CGA by NIQ revealed average sales by value were just 1% ahead compared with the same week in 2022 during the seven days to Saturday 26 August.

CGA​ stated the week showed “modest growth” for the on-premise, marking the second week of “marginal gains” following a “tough run” of five consecutive weeks of negative numbers in the second half of July and first half of August, attributed in part to wet weather.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup provided a boost to trade with England’s final against Spain on Sunday 20 August lifting sales to 16% above the same day last year, with the game’s early kick-off followed by Premier League matches in the afternoon sustaining spend in the on-trade across the day.

Challenging week

However, trading over the rest of week was “more subdued”, CGA said, with sales on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 August dipping to between 4% and 5% below the same days in 2022 as the sector battled further rail strikes​ and staff shortages​.

The previous tracker​ showed on-trade sales were 5% ahead across the seven days to Saturday 19 August vs the same period last year.

CGA manging director UK and Ireland Jonathan Jones said: “More disappointing weather made for another challenging week in the on premise, but the World Cup Final delivered a big enough boost to haul drinks sales into modest year-on-year growth.”

Though sales hit a high of 5% on Tuesday 22 August vs last year while the rest of the week’s trade was “held down” by “sporadic weather”.

Drive growth 

Beer performed best of the main drinks categories, with sales 6% ahead of the same week last year, while cider (up 2%) and wine (up 3%) followed the pattern of “modest growth”.

The soft drinks and spirits categories both saw a downturn in sales, down 2% and 10% respectively.

Jones added: “As we reach the end of a wet summer which has no doubt had a negative impact on trading, it’s encouraging to see that consumers will go out for a good experience, even in poor weather.

“To drive growth for the remainder of the year, operators and suppliers will need to focus on delivering that experience week in, week out and not just for one-off events.”

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