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On-trade drinks sales rise 13%

Drink sales in Great Britain’s on-trade returned to growth in May after five weeks of declines, with spirits rising by 5%.

Drink sales in the on-trade grew by double digits between 5 and 11 May, boosted by warm weather

In the seven days to Saturday 11 May, on-trade drinks sales were up by 13% compared with the same week in 2023, data from CGA by NIQ’s Daily Drinks Tracker showed.

It marked a return to growth following five consecutive weeks of declines.

Drink sales rose by 17% on Bank Holiday Monday (6 May). The same bank holiday had fallen a week earlier in 2023. Sales peaked at 23% on Thursday 9 May and warm weather helped to boost sales by 21% on the following day (10 May) and by 5% on Saturday 11 May.

After plummeting by double digits the previous week, spirits reported growth of 5% between 5 and 11 May. Other categories performed even better with cider soaring by a third and beer rising by 14%. Wine and soft drinks both posted gains of 11%.

“Bank holidays always make year-on-year comparisons more difficult but after a soggy spring, the warm spell and double-digit growth have been a huge relief for Britain’s pubs and suppliers,” said Jonathan Jones, CGA by NIQ’s managing director, UK and Ireland.

“The sunny weather means it’s been particularly good news for longer and lighter serves, and pubs and bars with outdoor gardens and terraces, many of which have been empty for months.

“Businesses will now be hoping the high temperatures can continue into the second May Bank Holiday and encourage more consumers to loosen their spending.”

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