December boost for pub sales

Drink sales in pubs and bars grew 5.6% in December in comparison to the same month in 2011, according to new figures released by CGA Strategy.

A pint of beerIn what CGA Strategy called its “most in-depth Christmas Review” the company analysed data from over 5,500 pubs and bars plus a consumer panel of more than 4,000 respondents.

CGA said: “Christmas was largely more successful this year due to the big day falling on a Tuesday, therefore providing two extra key trading dates compared to last year when Xmas Eve fell on a Saturday and Xmas Day on a Sunday.”

The review also found that “over two-thirds of the adult population made at least one visit into the on-trade during the average week in December 2012”.

According to the report women and the older generation were “visiting on-trade outlets more frequently during the festive period than they would normally.”

These extra visits by women and the older generation saw sales of wine, Champagne and spirits increase. One in five drinks served over the festive period came from a spirit brand, as opposed to one in six in the same period last year. The sales of wine and Champagne also increased, growing by one percentage point.

Tom Lynch, account director at CGA said: “Celebratory occasions such as Christmas fundamentally change the demographics of footfall into our pubs, bars, hotels and restaurants meaning retailers have a genuine opportunity expand their customer base with repeat visits from a wider audience.

“Unsurprisingly, our survey respondents referenced outlet and drinks quality as drivers of a positive on trade experience, highlighting the opportunity for drinks brands to also recruit, or re-engage loyalist consumers over this key trading period.”

The review also showed that pub food sales increased by 7.4% on December 2011.

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