Drinks sales stable in Spring

Drinks sales in late March and April have stayed broadly in line with the levels of last year, CGA by NIQ’s Daily Drinks Tracker shows.

The exclusive monitor provides expert analysis of average sales in managed venues over the last four weeks—a period that followed modest growth in March, helped by a strong St Patrick’s Day. Here’s CGA’s week-by-week breakdown of sales. 



Week to Saturday 30 March 

Average sales were up by 10% in this week—though trading figures are inflated by the long Bank Holiday weekend that fell in the seven-day period. With many consumers celebrating the Easter break in pubs and bars, there was strong growth in all five main drinks categories: beer (up 10%), cider (up 16%), soft drinks (up 13%), spirits (up 7%) and wine (up 11%). 




Week to Saturday 6 April 

This week saw average sales drop 3%—but they are again skewed by the Bank Holiday weekend, which occurred during the equivalent period in 2023. This made for tough comparatives, especially as the weather was also cooler than a year ago. In contrast to the previous week, year-on-year sales fell in each of beer (down 3%), cider (down 11%), soft drinks (down 3%), spirits (down 5%) and wine (down 1%). 








Week to Saturday 13 April

The second week of April saw sales fall by only 1%, despite comparisons with the back-end of the long Easter weekend in April 2023. Beer (up 5%), cider (up 2%) and wine (up 0.3%) were all in growth, but the soft drinks (down 6%) and spirits (down 11%) categories were both negative year-on-year. 








Week to Saturday 20 April 

It was a similar pattern in the week to last Saturday (20 April), when average sales finished just 0.2% below the equivalent week in 2023. Sales were down on four of the seven days, but there was 4% growth on Wednesday (17 April) thanks to big European football matches, and 1% on Saturday (20 April). The football helped generate modest growth for the beer (up 2%), cider (up 1%) and wine (up 2%) categories, but spirits (down 9%) and soft drinks (down 0.4%) were in the red. 





“Different Easter dates make day-by-day comparisons tricky, but taken as a whole it’s been a solid few weeks for many pubs, bars and drinks suppliers,” says Jonathan Jones, CGA by NIQ’s managing director, UK and Ireland.An easing of inflation and growth in wages have freed up the spending of some consumers lately, and this trend should continue. Although other people remain cash-strapped, we can be optimistic about reasonable growth over the rest of the Spring and into the Summer—though as always with drinks sales, a lot will depend on the weather.” 


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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