LAD lifts drinks sales ahead of World Cup

Britain’s On Premise recorded solid year-on-year growth in the first half of November—but with inflation now topping 11%, sales remain well below 2021 in real terms

CGA by NielsenIQ’s latest Drinks Recovery Tracker shows trading in the weeks to Saturday 5 and Saturday 12 November were up by 4% and 5% respectively on the same week in 2021.

 

It means drinks sales have now been up year-on-year for eight weeks in a row, and more uplifts are anticipated during the next few weeks as the football World Cup gets underway.

 

Growth has been powered in recent weeks by the Long Alcoholic Drinks (LAD) category. Year-on-year beer and cider sales were up by 13% and 18% respectively over the second week of November—well clear of growth in soft drinks (up 6%) and wine (up 2%). Spirits (down 9%) continued a run of weak sales, though they are up against tough comparatives.

 

November started with something of a damp squib for Bonfire Night, with sales down 10% year-on-year because of widespread rain. Sales have held up well since then, with a strong 7% growth on both Friday and Saturday (11 and 12 November).

 

However, with the Consumer Prices Index showing 40-year high inflation of 11.1%  in October, drinks sales are still significantly short of last year’s comparisons in real terms.

 

“Consumers are facing a barrage of increased costs at the moment, so year-on-year growth for the On Premise in the first half of November is impressive,” says Jonathan Jones, CGA’s managing director, UK and Ireland. “It’s particularly pleasing to see resurgent beer and cider sales, which bodes well for the World Cup—though the tournament’s impact on other drinking-out occasions remains to be seen. With a crucial five weeks of festive trading ahead, operators and suppliers will be keeping everything crossed for an inflation-busting end to 2022.”

 

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 jonathan.jones@cgastrategy.com.

 

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