Drinks sales in growth after five weeks of decline

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Drinks tracker: CGA data shows welcome return to growth for drinks sales (Credit:Getty/Bruby)
Drinks tracker: CGA data shows welcome return to growth for drinks sales (Credit:Getty/Bruby)

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Drinks sales were up 13.3% year-on-year in the two weeks to Saturday 18 May as warmer weather and Early May Bank Holiday drew people to pub gardens.

The Daily Drinks Tracker from CGA by NIQ showed sales by value across managed venues were 13% ahead of 2023 levels in the week to Saturday 11 May thanks to improved weather and the bank holiday on Monday 6 May.

Marking a welcome return to growth after five consecutive weeks of declines​, trade was up on each of the seven days that week, starting with an uplift of 17% on the Monday and peaking at 23% on Thursday 9 May before finishing 21% and 5% ahead on Friday and Saturday (10 and 11 May) respectively. 

CGA​ by NIQ managing director UK & Ireland Jonathan Jones said: “Bank Holidays always make year-on-year comparisons more difficult but after a soggy spring, the warm spell and double-digit growth have been a huge relief for Britain’s pubs and suppliers.

“The sunny weather means it’s been particularly good news for longer and lighter serves and pubs and bars with outdoor gardens and terraces, many of which have been empty for months.

Modest growth 

“Businesses will now be hoping the high temperatures continue and encourage more consumers to loosen their spending.” 

While the following week saw more modest growth, trade still benefitted from a 0.3% boost in the seven days to Saturday 18 May, however as the weather fluctuated, so did sales.

A strong start with growth of 13% on the Sunday (12 May) was followed by year-on-year drops of between 3% and 10% from Monday to Thursday—the result of both cooler weather and some tough comparative days in 2023.

Though with the sun out again, the week ended with 5% growth on Friday (17 May) and a small dip of 2% on Saturday. 

Category wise, Long Alcoholic Drinks (LAD) performed well across both weeks, with cider and beer having seen sales hit 33% and 14% both respectively in the week to 11 May.

Improved confidence 

Sales for both categories were muted the following week with growth of 8% for cider and 3% for beer.

Meanwhile spirits saw an upswing in numbers for the first time in months over the Early May Bank Holiday before dropping once again last week and wine sales saw a mixed fortnight. 

Jones said: “While pubs and suppliers won’t be getting too excited by year-on-year growth of 0.3%, it does at least maintain some trading momentum.

“Many consumers are clearly still cautious about their spending, but when the sun shines they remain eager to enjoy drinking out.

“News of further easing in inflation should hopefully improve confidence, but as ever at this time of year, levels of trading will very much depend on the weather.” 


Related topics Cider

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