Midweek sales were hit particularly hard, with declines of 10% on Wednesday 18 October, picking up slightly by the end of week with a 6% drop on Friday 20 October.
England’s Rugby World Cup matchdays boosted trade, with drinks sales up 5% on both Sunday 15 and Saturday 21 October, when England beat Fiji and lost to South Africa respectively.
CGA by NIQ’s managing director UK and Ireland Jonathan Jones said: “It’s been a generally good September and October for pubs and bars, but Storm Babet sank midweek trading in some regions last week."
Category wise, the rugby made it another good week for the LAD division, with beer sales up 4% compared with the same week last year, marking the eleventh week of growth for the category, while cider saw a year-on-year increase of 4%.
Wine and soft drinks showed a weaker performance across the seven days, with drops of 0.2% and 4% respectively, while spirits saw the biggest decline in sales, as has been the case for most of 2023, falling by 9%.
Hoping for a boost
In addition, analysis of CGA data by The Morning Advertiser recently revealed drinks sales were up 3.8% overall during the last six months.
However, inflation, rail strikes and soaring costs have made real-terms growth “hard won”, according to Jones.
Jones added: “Operators and suppliers will now be hoping for a boost from Halloween occasions before the countdown to Christmas begins, and there is all to play for over the last two months of the year.”