Food and Drink

Drinks sales remain strong despite challenges, CGA says

Sales were down by 5% on the same week in 2019, despite “a host of supply, staffing and cost pressures”

Average drinks sales by value in the seven days to September 18 was down by 5% on the same week in 2019, a dip from growth of 1% in the previous seven days and 5% in the week before that, according to CGA’s latest drinks recovery tracker.

The trade association reports that drinks sales “continue to compare well to pre-Covid patterns despite a host of supply, staffing and cost pressures”.  

The week-on-week drop was also reportedly influenced by damper and cooler weather. Daily sales were down on 2019 levels by between 2% and 12% between Sunday and Friday (12 to 17 September), but recovered to sit just 1% down on Saturday.

Spirits sales were the strongest, as “cocktails extended their popularity”. Sales across the week were 16% up on the same week in 2019, but beer (down 11%), soft drinks (down 7%), cider (down 16%) and wine (down 13%) were all in negative territory.

Jonathan Jones, CGA’s managing director, UK and Ireland, said: “While just short of 2019 levels, these figures show the impressive resilience of the On Premise.

“Trading conditions aren’t easy at the moment, and there are likely to be plenty of ups and downs between now and the end of the year. But consumers remain as enthusiastic as ever about drinking out, if supply and staffing issues can be mitigated, operators have a good chance of ending 2021 on a high.”

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