Spirits sales fall behind beer in UK bars and pubs

3rd August, 2020 by Nicola Carruthers

Sales of spirits in the UK on-trade were down by 51% in the week to 25 July as drinkers favoured beer and pubs, according to data from CGA.

CGA data found that only 46% of bars have reopened

CGA’s latest Drinks Recovery Tracker looked at drinks sales in the UK on-trade as consumers returned to bars and restaurants following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Total drink sales for the week ending Saturday 25 July fell 37% compared to the same week in 2019. CGA noted that while this was well below normal levels, it was a “solid improvement” on the previous week when sales declined 43%.

Across drinks categories, spirits witnessed the biggest drop at 51%, followed by soft drinks which declined 43% and wine which fell by 42%. Beer performed better at a decline of 27% due to the faster reopening of pubs, compared to restaurants, CGA noted.

CGA’s latest Outlet Index data showed that nearly three quarters (71%) of pubs in Great Britain have reopened, compared to 50% of restaurants and even less for bars at 46%.

CGA found that many consumers continue to avoid busy times when drinking out, with Sunday and Monday (19 and 20 July) the best performing days of the week compared to 2019.

Meanwhile, data from CGA, Yumpingo and UK Hospitality’s We Hear You campaign found that the 97% of drinkers in the UK were satisfied with the level of hygiene and cleanliness in the venue they visited, and nearly as many (94%) with how well the venue’s team followed hygiene measures.

According to the research, older people were more worried about safety, and more anxious than most to see precautions in place.

Three quarters (78%) of people aged between 18 and 34 thought safety measures were extremely clear, while only 60% of adults aged 55 and over felt the same.

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