Drinks sales dip in soggy end to April

Inflation as measured by the CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index (FPI) fell below 10% in March for the first time in two years. The welcome milestone for the sector follows the largest month-on-month decline ever recorded by the Index of 1.4%.

The figure—based on average sales in managed venues for the week to last Saturday (27 April)—is a disappointing end to the month after generally solid trading over the Spring. Sales suffered by comparison to a sunny late April in 2023, which brought people out to pubs and bars in above-average numbers. 


Daily sales were up by 11% year-on-year on Sunday (21 April), thanks to a strong round of Premier League fixtures. However, they were behind the levels of 2023 on all six of the following days as wet and cool weather moved in. The weekend was particularly weak, with trading down by 8% on Friday (26 April) and by 10% on Saturday (27 April). 


Category-wise, sales of beer and wine were only marginally down year-on-year, by 1% each, while cider and soft drinks, which benefitted from a sunnier April in 2023, were behind by 5% and 7% respectively. The spirits category had one of its worst weeks in a long time, with sales down 19%. 


After a decent few weeks, it was disappointing to see drinks sales finish April by sliding behind last year,” says Jonathan Jones, CGA by NIQ’s managing director, UK and Ireland.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.” 


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, or contact Jonathan Jones, CGA by NIQ Managing Director, here. 

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