On Premise Measurement Service’s sales by value jumped by 24% in Northern Ireland between June and August 2021, revealed CGA’s latest research.
The market was reportedly driven by spirits in particular, with sales growing 36% as customers “celebrated” the reopening of the On Premise with cocktails and shots.
There was additional growth in June to August in other key drinks categories, including soft drinks increasing by 25% and long alcoholic drinks increasing by 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.
CGA said this 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.
Sian Brennan, CGA’s client director in Ireland, said: “Northern Ireland’s pubs, bars and restaurants have made a confident return from Covid lockdowns.
“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.”
She added: “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.”