A happy Christmas for pubs and bars as drinks sales rise 7%


The festive season brought cheer to the trade with On Premise drinks sales finishing 2023 with year-on-year growth of 7% in the final fortnight, according to CGA by NIQ’s Daily Drinks Tracker.

On 10 of the 14 days during the last two weeks, trading increased year over year with Christmas Eve sales up 3% and Christmas Day sales up 10%. Black Friday, on December 22, saw a 21% increase in sales.

Average sales in managed venues increased by 9% in the week ending Saturday, December 23, 2022, compared to the same week in 2022, thanks to rising consumer confidence and a halting of rail strikes. In the seven days that followed, to Saturday, December 30, there was a 6% growth. Both numbers are significantly higher than the most recent inflation rate of 4%.

According to CGA by NIQ, it was also an excellent end to 2023 for the Long Alcoholic Drinks (LAD) category. Beer sales were 12% and 13% ahead year-on-year in the last two weeks, while cider was 12% up in both weeks. Wine achieved sales growth of 8% and 7%, completing a welcome year of revival for the category. A mixed year for soft drinks ended with growth of 4% and 5%.  It was a more difficult festive season in the spirits category, where trading was well behind 2022 for most of last year. Sales were 3% ahead in the penultimate week of 2023, but 11% down in the final week.

“After a soft November and early December it was great to see such a strong end to 2023 for many operators and suppliers,” says Jonathan Jones, CGA by NIQ’s managing director, UK and Ireland. “Despite ongoing pressure on their spending, consumers were clearly eager to celebrate Christmas with friends and families in the special environments that pubs and bars provide. While trading conditions remain challenging, we can be cautiously optimistic that these positive trends will continue into early 2024, despite the pressures of reduced spending and Dry January.”



Category: Bar & Pub, News
Tags: CGA by NIQ, Daily Drinks Tracker, Jonathan Jones