A warm Saturday helped Britain’s On Premise to end the week’s drinks sales just ahead of pre-COVID-19 comparatives, CGA’s latest Drinks Recovery Tracker shows.
Average sales by value in managed pubs, bars and restaurants in the seven days to last Saturday (14 May) were 1% up on the same week three years ago. It is the fourth week in a row that sales have been in growth—though high inflation means sales are still well below 2019 in real terms.
Cool weather at the start of the week meant sales were down by between 8% and 15% from Sunday to Wednesday. However, they rose in line with the temperatures in the second half of the week, peaking with 19% growth on Saturday. As well as the sunny weather, pubs and bars were boosted by screenings of football’s FA Cup Final.
The match delivered a particularly useful lift to beer sales, which ended the week virtually level with 2019. Soft drinks were also flat, while cider was down 6%. Wine had its worst week since February at 14% down. Spirits were once again the strongest of the categories, with sales across the week up by 15%.
“These figures are a reminder of the huge difference that sunny weather makes to drinks sales,” says Jonathan Jones, CGA’s managing director, UK and Ireland. “Four successive weeks of growth is positive, and operators and suppliers must now keep everything crossed for sunshine over the Bank Holiday and Queen’s Jubilee weekends. However, there is no escaping the impact of inflationary pressures on both consumers’ spending confidence and real-terms sales.”