Weather and sport boost weekly drink sales

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

On-trade boost: sales of cider rose the most year-on-year last week (credit: Getty/ViewApart)
On-trade boost: sales of cider rose the most year-on-year last week (credit: Getty/ViewApart)

Related tags Finance Cga Sport Beer Cider

Drinks sales in the on-trade rose by 3% in the week to last Saturday (14 October) with the Rugby World Cup and good weather cited as the key drivers.

The sales boost meant eight weeks out of nine represented growth at hospitality sites, according to the Daily Drinks Tracker from CGA by NIQ.

The unseasonably warm weather helped drive year-on-year growth of 13% and 8% on Sunday and Monday (8 and 9 October) and, although figures were more modest in the middle of the week, they bounced back to 4% growth on Saturday (14 October), thanks to Rugby World Cup quarter finals involving Wales and Ireland.

Biggest winners

The rugby and high temperatures helped make long alcoholic drinks (LAD) categories the biggest winners of the week, with cider sales enjoying the most significant lift of 13% year-on-year.

Sport helped give beer a good week too, with sales in Scotland soaring 66% on Thursday as the men’s football team took on Spain in a Euros qualifier while trading in Wales rose by a huge 41% thanks to the Rugby World Cup quarter-final clash with Argentina that saw the Welsh exit the tournament.

Sales of soft drinks saw a year-on-year sales boost of 6%.

The weather and sport didn’t suit all categories though, and the week’s wine sales were up by only 1% year-on-year, while spirits were down 6%.

Strong start

“Changeable weather has made for an up-and-down few months for the LAD category but the sunshine and Rugby World Cup have given suppliers and operators a strong start to the autumn,” says Jonathan Jones, CGA by NIQ’s managing director, UK and Ireland.

“England’s semi-final this weekend should extend the run and give the on-premise a springboard into November and the festive season.”

Last week, the Daily Drinks Tracker recorded a 4% boost for sales in the on-trade​ with Jones stating at the time: “It’s good to see drinks sales growth holding up well with inflation as we start the final quarter of 2023.”

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