Average sales by value in the seven days to last Saturday (19 November) were 3% ahead of the same week last year, despite the mounting pressure on consumers’ disposable incomes. However, after adjustments for inflation—which hit a 40-year high of 11% in October—sales are still significantly below last year’s levels.
Six of the week’s seven days were in year-on-year growth, peaking at 9% on Sunday (13 November)—though trading dipped 2% on Saturday (19 November), in a lull ahead of the first games for England and Wales in the football World Cup.
Following the pattern of recent weeks there was strong trading in the beer (up 8%) and cider (up 11%) categories—both of which should continue to perform well as the World Cup progresses. Soft drinks (up 5%) and wine (up 6%) were in solid growth too, but spirits (down 11%) continue to suffer against the tough comparatives of late 2021.
“Nine weeks of year-on-year growth give On Premise operators and suppliers a great springboard into festive and World Cup trading,” says Jonathan Jones, CGA’s managing director, UK and Ireland. “While inflation is impacting growth and profit margins are under strain, these figures show that consumers remain very keen to drink out in pubs and bars.”
CGA’s Drinks Recovery Tracker monitors managed outlet sales as the drinking-out market continues to recover, providing category, supplier and brand rate of sale performance versus pre-COVID-19 sales. Suppliers and operators that want to track the recovery of drinks sales, benchmark performance or identify changes in trends and consumer preferences should contact email@example.com.