The latest Daily Drinks Tracker, which calculates average sales by value in managed venues, showed trade across the seven days to Saturday 27 January finished 5% behind the same period in 2023.
Sales were down on six of the seven days of last week, with 6% drops on both of the two biggest days of the week, Friday and Saturday (26 and 27 January).
The figures followed an 8% dip in sales in the previous days, and a 7% drop in the week before that.
CGA claimed January trade had been weakened by a squeeze on consumers’ spending after enjoying Christmas in pubs and bars, which led to better-than-expected drinks sales growth of 7% in the final fortnight of 2023, as well as an increasing adoption of dry January.
All drinks categories measured in the tracker faced another challenging week, with cider (up 0.3%) the only one in year-on-year growth, the second week in a row the segment has showed resilience against others.
Beer (down 0.3%), wine (down 4%) and soft drinks (down 2%) all shed sales while spirits saw trade fall by 18% below the same week in 2023, meaning sales for the category have now been down by around a fifth for three weeks in a row.
CGA by NIQ managing director UK and Ireland Jonathan Jones said: “It’s been a challenging start to 2024 for many pubs, bars and suppliers, and while some have been insulated by a strong Christmas, others will be feeling nervous about the months ahead.
“With dry January now at an end, milder weather emerging and the Six Nations rugby tournament starting this weekend, we can be optimistic that footfall will pick up in February.
“But while consumers should loosen their spending as the year goes on, January has shown us that the cost-of-living and high-inflation crisis isn’t over yet.”