Spirits soar again in holiday week

On Premise drinks sales were lifted by the long Jubilee weekend, with spirits sales achieving the biggest boost.

CGA by NielsenIQ latest Drinks Recovery Tracker shows average sales by value in Britain’s managed venues in the seven days to Saturday (4 June) were 21% up on the same week in 2019. However, the figure is inflated by the effect of the unique Jubilee period, which included bank holidays on Thursday and Friday, and the absence of a holiday in the comparative week three years ago.


Spirits sales soared by 45% on the same week three years ago—extending a pattern that has seen it outperform all other categories by some distance in 2022. Beer sales were up by 15% and cider sales by 26%, as many consumers celebrated the Jubilee outside in decent weather. Soft drinks were up 25%, but wine sales were 1% below the level of 2019.


Across the week, England’s sales uplift of 21% was ahead of Scotland at 16%—though Wales recorded the biggest upswing of all at 43%. Britain-wide, drinks sales shot up by 70% on Wednesday and 55% on Thursday, but then fell by 9% on Saturday as consumers switched their Jubilee activities to parties at home or in their communities.


“Jubilee week gave out-of-home drinks sales a very welcome lift, but competition from other celebrations meant the impact was short-lived,” says Jonathan Jones, CGA’s managing director, UK and Ireland. “It also highlighted two of the big On Premise category trends of 2022: the remarkable success of spirits and cocktails and the ongoing difficulties in the wine market.”



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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