More wet weather kept on-trade drinks sales flat in the first full week of November, according to CGA by NIQ’s latest Daily Drinks Tracker.

CGA rain

Average sales in managed venues in the week to last Saturday (11th November) were marginally down by 0.2% from the same period in 2022. It comes on the back of a similarly flat second half of October, followed by a brief flurry of growth around Halloween and Bonfire Night. 

Sales were in year-on-year growth on four of the week’s seven days, peaking at +14% on Monday. But they fell by 7% on both Friday and Saturday. Those two days were hit by chilly and wet weather in many parts of the country, but the softer trading may also reflect a pause in some people’s spending before the start of the festive season.  

The wine category is often best insulated against poor weather, and it was the top performing segment, last week with sales up 5% year-on-year. Beer (up 3%), cider (up 2%) and soft drinks (down 1%) were broadly flat, but spirits (down 12%) had yet another tough week in the aftermath of Halloween. 

“A succession of storms has disrupted a lot of people’s plans over the last month, and suppliers and operators will be keeping everything crossed for respite on the weather over the festive season,” said Jonathan Jones, CGA by NIQ’s managing director, UK and Ireland.

“Christmas will make or break the year for many pubs, bars, and drinks suppliers and they will need to work very hard to attract consumers and maximise spend. News this week of a drop in inflation is hopefully a positive omen for this vital period.”