Drinks sales remained strong in the second week of outdoor-only trading for England’s pubs, bars and restaurants, CGA’s latest Drinks Recovery Tracker shows.
The Tracker revealed a good first week back for the drinks market, and with generally good weather continuing, that trend extended into the second week. From Sunday 18 to Saturday 24 April, like-for-like drinks sales were down by only 21% on the equivalent week in 2019—a tough comparative period as it benefited from both Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday. Sales were actually in growth from 2019 on a couple of days of last week: Tuesday (up 24%) and Thursday (up 14%).
The greater availability of outdoor space in pubs means they continued to trade well ahead of other segments. Pubs’ year-on-year drinks sales were down by only 13% on 2019, compared to steep drops in bars (down 56%) and restaurants (down 50%).
Warm weather in many areas helped to make cider the best performing category of the week, with sales down just 4% on 2019. Beer (down 9%) and wine (down 7%) also fared better than the drinks market as a whole. Spirits sales (down 25%) were much weaker, and soft drinks (down 46%) continued to struggle as most consumers favoured alcoholic drinks on their return to the On Premise.
“It was another good week for the pubs that have been able to reopen after lockdown, and they will hope for more sunshine between now and the resumption of indoor service,” says Jonathan Jones, CGA’s managing director, UK and Ireland. “Restaurants and bars with more limited outdoor capacity have found it much harder to generate sales, and will not be able to properly reboot until they can open their doors again on 17 May. But while the trading picture is uneven for now, it is very encouraging to see that consumer demand for drinking out is quickly returning.”