Total drinks sales in managed pubs and bars that were open last weekend were 49% down on pre-lockdown levels on Saturday and 52% down on Sunday, CGA’s new Drinks Recovery Tracker has revealed.

Beer sales held up best, but were still down 36% on Saturday and 43% on Sunday on pre-COVID norms. The Tracker compares the average daily drinks sales per site to the market average on the equivalent Saturday and Sunday in 2019.

“Beer’s relatively better showing highlights the struggle of recreating the draught pint experience at home, which has clearly left consumers thirsting for that first pint,” said CGA’s Director of Client Services Jonny Jones.

Spirits performed roughly in line with the market on Saturday, with sales down 50% on pre-lockdown rates, but had a better day on Sunday, down 45%.

“However, Sunday is not as strong a sales day for spirits in a normal week,” observed Jones. “So this stronger performance on Sunday is in comparison to a lower base.”

Sales of alcohol outperformed soft drinks in over the first weekend, with soft drinks sales down 58% on Saturday and 55% on Sunday.

“It may well be that can be explained by people staying local and not driving, or families not going out to pubs on the first weekend back,” Jones conjectured.

The picture of drinks sales in managed pubs and bars in England is broadly in line with the total sales numbers collected by CGA’s Coffer Peach Business Tracker, which saw overall like-for-like trading in the sector down 45% on the same weekend last year.

The new CGA Drinks Recovery Tracker service measures drinks category, supplier and brand rate of sale performance vs Pre-COVID19 sales. Daily data is reported within three days. Suppliers and operators that want to track the recovery of drinks sales, benchmark performance against the competition or identify changes in trends, should contact for details of the full service.


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