Drinks sales up 7% during last two weeks of 2023

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Cautiously optimistic: drinks sales up 7% in final fortnight of 2023 (Credit: Getty/	zeljkosantrac)
Cautiously optimistic: drinks sales up 7% in final fortnight of 2023 (Credit: Getty/ zeljkosantrac)

Related tags Christmas Cga Finance Drinks

Drinks sales were up 7% year-on-year during the final fortnight of 2023, indicating “positive trends” for 2024 despite continued “difficult trading conditions”, according to CGA.

The latest CGA​ by NIQ’s Daily Drinks Tracker showed year-on-year growth for ten out of the fourteen days over the last two weeks of the year.

Attributed in part to growing consumer confidence, improved weather and a curtailing of rail strikes, venues enjoyed an average lift of 9% in the week to Saturday 23 December, followed by 6% growth in the following seven days to Saturday 30 December.

Both figures were “well above” the latest 4% rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, CGA added.

Year of revival  

Christmas Eve saw sales​ finish 3% ahead compared with the same week in 2022 while Christmas day achieved 10% year-on-year growth, however trade dipped to just 0.1% up on Boxing Day.

Other notably strong days during this period included Friday 22 December, when drinks trade was up 21% according to the figures, based on analysis of sales at managed licensed venues across the UK.

Category wise, the Long Alcoholic Drinks (LAD) category proved most popular, with beer sales up 12% and 13% year-on-year during the two-week period, while cider saw 12% uplift across both weeks.

Wine achieved sales growth of 8% and 7%, completing a welcome year of revival for the category and a “mixed year” for the soft drinks category ended with growth of 4% and 5%.

Strong end 

It was a more difficult festive season in the spirits category, where trading was “well behind” 2022 for most of last year, with sales 3% ahead in the penultimate week of 2023, but 11% down in the final week.

CGA​ by NIQ managing director UK and Ireland Jonathan Jones said: “After a soft November and early December it was great to see such a strong end to 2023 for many operators and suppliers.

“Despite ongoing pressure on their spending, consumers were clearly eager to celebrate Christmas with friends and families in the special environments that pubs and bars provide.

“While trading conditions remain challenging, we can be cautiously optimistic that these positive trends will continue into early 2024, despite the pressures of reduced spending in January.”


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