Economic climate slows drinks sales growth

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Drinks Tracker: economic challenges continue to damage drinks sales (Credit: Getty/DGLimages)
Drinks Tracker: economic challenges continue to damage drinks sales (Credit: Getty/DGLimages)

Related tags Cga Finance Drinks

Managed venues closed February with further year-on-year drops in drinks sales as “shifting dynamics” make growth more “challenging”, particularly for the spirits category.

The latest CGA​ by NIQ Daily Drinks Tracker showed average sales by value in managed pubs and bars in the week to Saturday 2 March were 2% below the equivalent period in 2023.

While four of the seven days showed growth, peaking at 2% on Thursday 29 February, wet weather dampened trade on the other days with modest weekend trading as sales dropped by 2% on Friday and Saturday (1 and 2 March).

Marginal growth 

The figures followed a 5% downturn over the previous seven days​ and three weeks of flat or marginal growth before that​.

During this period, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt also delivered the Spring Budget,​ announcing the freeze to alcohol duty would be extending until February 2025, though voices from across the sector shared their "disappointment" at the plans with some stating the measures would not benefit pubs.

Category-wise, the Long-Alcoholic Drinks (LAD) categories performed best, with beer​ (up 1%) and cider (up 0.1%) both ahead of 2023 for the sixth week in a row.

Wine (down 0.2%) also saw solid sales, while soft drinks were down 5%, however, the spirits category continued to run far behind other segments, with sales down by 11% year-on-year. 

Shifting dynamics 

CGA by NIQ managing director Jonathan Jones said: “February was another challenging month for suppliers and operators, with consumers’ confidence still very much in recovery.

“While LAD categories have been fairly resilient this year, the changes we have seen in the market landscape and the shifting dynamics of occasions that consumers are visiting for, have made sales growth more challenging for spirits.

“With Spring, St Patrick’s Day, UK public holidays and some big sporting occasions all looming, and the weather hopefully brightening, we can be hopeful that consumers’ spending will pick up soon.” 

Related topics Spirits & Cocktails

Related news

Show more