Christmas hangover hits On Premise drinks sales

Drinks sales in Britain’s pubs and bars have dipped year-on-year as consumers tighten their spending after Christmas and New Year.

CGA by NIQ’s Daily Drinks Tracker shows average sales in managed venues in the week to Saturday (13 January) were 7% behind the same week in 2023. After a strong Christmas and a solid first week of 2024, many people will have sought to save some money by staying in. Cold weather and ‘Dry January’ may have further reduced footfall in pubs and bars.  


While sales on Sunday (7 January) grew by 7% year-on-year, they were down on each of the six other days of the week, with particularly steep drops on Thursday (down 10%), Friday (down 11%) and Saturday (down 9%). 


The Tracker shows drops in sales for all main drinks categories, including beer (down 3%), cider (down 0.3%), wine (down 4%) and soft drinks (down 6%). Spirits—the category that is most exposed to consumers’ reining in their spending after the festive period—saw sales tumble 22% year-on-year. 


“It was a good Christmas and New Year for many pubs, bars and suppliers, but the hangover has now kicked in,” says Jonathan Jones, CGA by NIQ’s managing director, UK and Ireland. “This week’s wintry weather has made for tougher conditions, but the big question now is whether this is a short blip as consumers regain their spending confidence, or a sign of challenges to come in 2024.”


The Daily Drinks Tracker provides analysis of sales at managed licensed premises across Britain and is part of CGA by NIQ’s suite of research services delivering in-depth data on category, supplier and brand rate of sale performance. To learn more, click here and email 

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