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Rain washes drinks sales back into the red

After two weeks of year-on-year growth, drinks sales in Britain’s On Premise slipped back last week, according to CGA by NIQ’s Daily Drinks Tracker

Average sales in managed venues for the seven days to last Saturday (25 May) were 3% lower than in the same period in May 2023—a disappointing drop after solid growth in the first two weeks of this month


Trading was weakened by several days of wet weather over the course of the week. Year-on-year sales plunged 22% after heavy rain on Wednesday (22 May), and they were down by between 8% and 12% on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (21, 23 and 24 May). Things were much better on Sunday (19 May), when the final round of Premier League fixtures helped to lift sales by 24%. There was also growth of 4% on Saturday (25 May), the first week of the Bank Holiday weekend. 


Interest in Sunday’s football meant beer sales were 1% ahead year-on-year. However, cider (down 7%), soft drinks (down 5%), wine (down 1%) and spirits (down 10%) were all behind the equivalent week last year.  

“After a solid start to May it’s frustrating to see drinks sales slip back into the red year-on-year,” says Jonathan Jones, CGA by NIQ’s managing director, UK and Ireland. “The weather has been far from ideal for pubs and bars, and operators and suppliers will be pinning hopes on some prolonged sunshine as we move into the key summer months. In the meantime, with consumer confidence still patchy businesses face fierce competition for sales and share.” 


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