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Vodka sales drop 3% in GB on-trade

Sales of vodka in Great Britain’s on-trade declined by 3% in the year to 24 February 2024 as drinkers shifted away from ‘high-tempo occasions’.

vodka in glasses with lavender
Vodka accounted for 29.2% of all spirits purchased in Great Britain’s on-trade

Data from CGA’s On Premise Measurement service showed that vodka generated £2.2 billion (US$2.7bn) in on-trade sales in Great Britain over the last 12 months.

Total spirits sales in the channel fell by 6.1% in the past year, as consumers moved away from ‘high-tempo occasions’ to drinking earlier, CGA noted. The category also suffered from the cost-of-living crisis with drinkers favouring longer serves over spirits.

CGA said vodka has been one of the most buoyant categories within spirits. The category’s decrease of 3% is half the average of all spirits sales, the analyst noted.

Vodka accounted for nearly a third (29.2%) of all spirits purchased in the on-trade, an increase of 0.9 percentage points from more than a year ago.

More than half (52.4%) of all vodka is sold in pubs, which reported a sales decline of 8.7% over the 12-month period. High street pubs experienced a ‘steep drop’ in sales (down by 17.8%) and community pubs fell by 7.5%.

Meanwhile, sales of vodka in nightclubs (which has a volume share of 3.8% of the category’s sales) have plummeted by 34.9% after many venues were shut in the past year.

Bars and restaurants have performed better with vodka sales up by 4.1%, while food-led pubs rose by 1.8%.

CGA also noted an increase in flavoured vodka options, with the segment attracting 10.3% of all vodka sales in the last 12 months.

Premium vodka increased its share by 2.4 percentage points in the last 12 months, while standard brands lost the same quantity. However, standard-priced vodkas recovered some of their share over the last quarter as some drinkers tightened their spend.

Vodka drinkers spent an average of £134 (US$167) a month in bars, pubs and restaurants, £32 (US$40) more than the average consumer, CGA Opus data showed.

Whisky sales in Great Britain’s on-trade declined by 2% last year but rose by double digits in Scotland.

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