Drinks sales down for fifth week in a row

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Disappointing: Drinks sales down for fifth consecutive week but brighter trading ahead (Credit:Getty/izusek)
Disappointing: Drinks sales down for fifth consecutive week but brighter trading ahead (Credit:Getty/izusek)

Related tags Cga Drinks Finance

Drinks sales across the on-premise have fallen for the fifth week in a row, but more “favourable” trading conditions are on the horizon.

The latest Daily Drinks Tracker from CGA by NIQ revealed drinks sales by value in managed venues during the week to Saturday 4 May were 4% behind the equivalent period in 2023.

It extended a run of trading that has seen small year-on-year drops of between 0.2% and 6% since early April, attributed in part to the timing of bank holidays and unpredictable weather conditions.

Category wise, Long Alcoholic Drinks (LAD) fared best across the seven-day period, with beer sales up 1% and cider down just 1%.

Soft drinks were down 7% while wine (up 1%) and spirits (down 19%) endured another difficult week.

Greater volatility 

Trends insight

CGA by NIQ will be revealing the latest drinks trends at the upcoming MA Leaders Club conference and networking study tour in Cardiff this week​ (Thursday 16 May). If you're a multiple operator and want to be part of the club, sign up here​.

CGA by NIQ managing director UK & Ireland Jonathan Jones said: “Bank Holidays always make year-on-year comparisons tricky; sales trends have exhibited greater volatility owing to irregular rainfall throughout April.

“Nevertheless, suppliers and operators should be encouraged by strong trading in the first few days of May, which suggests some consumers are starting to spend more.

“With warmer weather arriving at last and forecasts of more to come, we can expect some favourable conditions—especially for venues with gardens and terraces.” 

Meanwhile the previous tracker showed sales for the week to Saturday 27 April had ended the month on a “disappointing” note after more solid trading over the spring, though sales suffered compared to last year’s sunny weather in late April.

Though six of the seven days during this period were behind 2023 levels, with trading down 8% on Friday 26 April and 10% the following day.

However, sporting events, including the Premier League fixtures, helped push trade 11% up year-on-year on Sunday 21.

Everything crossed

Beer and wine were only marginally down at the end of last month, with each category finishing just 1% down against last year, while cider and soft drinks saw declines of 5% and 7% respectively.

The spirits category also saw a 19% downturn in sales during this week.

Jones added: “After a decent few weeks, it was disappointing to see drinks sales finish April by sliding behind last year.

“This year saw one of the wettest Aprils on record, which played a big role in keeping consumers at home. 

“The weather can make all the difference between good and bad weeks at this time of year, so venues and suppliers will be keeping everything crossed for a brighter May. 

“With consumer confidence tentatively rising, we can be optimistic that May will be a better month—if the sun shines.” 

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