Drinks sales up but real-terms growth 'hard won'

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Daily Drinks Tracker: sales in managed venues 7% ahead of 2022 in week to Saturday 16 September (Credit: Getty/Royalty-free)
Daily Drinks Tracker: sales in managed venues 7% ahead of 2022 in week to Saturday 16 September (Credit: Getty/Royalty-free)

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Drinks sales in managed venues were ahead of 2022 levels for the fifth week in a row in the seven days to Saturday 16 September though real-terms growth will continue to be “hard won”.

The latest Daily Drinks Tracker, formerly the Drinks Recovery Tracker, from CGA by NIQ revealed average sales by value across managed venues finished 7% ahead compared with the same period last year, following growth of 16% the previous week​. 

Sales were ahead of September 2022 on every day of the week, peaking at 12% on Thursday (14 September).

Raise hopes 

A run of good weekends continued with growth of 6% and 5% on Friday (15 September) and Saturday (16 September), CGA added.  

Moreover, the return of the UEFA Champions League​ last week saw 6.6m pints sold across the on-trade, according to data from Oxford Partnership. 

CGA​ managing director UK and Ireland Jonathan Jones said: “It’s encouraging to see solid year-on-year growth in drinks sales despite the end of the heatwave, and it goes some way to making up for the washout of August.

“News that inflation has eased, and interest rates have been held will raise hopes consumers might be able to spend a bit more freely in the final few months of the year—though real-terms growth will continue to be hard won.” 

Category wise, cider performed best for the second week in a row, with sales 17% ahead of last year.

Passed down

Beer was also in double-digit growth at 10% while soft drinks (up 7%) and wine (up 5%) were not far behind.

However, the spirits category continued a tough year of comparatives with a 3% dip in sales. 

This comes as trade bodies and publicans recently called for the Government to take “swift action”​ to tackle “spiralling costs” across the sector as the latest data from ONS showed beer prices had jumped 12.1% in the year to August 2023.

Licensee of the Tamworth Tap, Staffordshire, George Greenway said: “Unfortunately, costs are just that high we can't absorb them, and they’re being passed down.”

Related topics Cider

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