Steady recovery in drinks sales in Northern Ireland’s On Premise

Drinks sales increased steadily in Northern Ireland’s On Premise over the summer to hit nearly nine-tenths of pre-COVID levels, CGA’s latest research there shows.

On Premise Measurement Service data indicates that sales by value jumped by 24% between June and August—a welcome sign of mounting consumer demand. The market was driven in particular by spirits, sales of which grew 36% as drinkers celebrated the reopening of the On Premise with cocktails and shots. Spirit sales over the three months to end-August were just 7% down on 2019’s levels.


There was decent June-to-August growth in other key drinks categories like soft drinks (up 25%) and Long Alcoholic Drinks (up 19%), though their total sales remain further away from pre-COVID levels.


Over the three months to the end of August, sales across all categories totalled 89% of the figure for the same period in 2019. It is a better performance than many operators expected, after CGA’s leaders’ survey in April found that nearly half (46%) were pessimistic about the market over the next 12 months.


Northern Ireland’s pubs, bars and restaurants have made a confident return from COVID lockdowns,” says Sian Brennan, CGA’s client director, Ireland. “Consumers’ confidence and spending have steadily but surely climbed, and the summer and autumn will hopefully provide a good springboard into the crucial festive trading period. Many businesses remain fragile though, and with food, drink, energy, staffing and other costs rising, and supply pressures continuing, it’s clear that it’s not yet business as usual in the On Premise.”


CGA’s in-depth research into On Premise sales can help all drinks suppliers and operators optimise sales and marketing strategies in Northern Ireland. To learn more, email Phil Montgomery at

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