Monthly data from its On-Premise Measurement Service show how spending rapidly climbed towards 2019 levels, having jumped by 43% between June and August.
Spirits performed particularly well, reports CGA, as consumers looked to celebrate the reopening of Ireland’s on-trade with cocktails, shots and shooters. Their sales over the three months to the end of August were 77% of 2019’s levels – a higher bounceback than other segments like soft drinks (60%) and Long Alcoholic Drinks (75%).
However, soft drinks have recovered well lately, growing sales by 75% between June and August as drinking patterns settle back to normal.
Sales have proved better than many businesses feared at the start of the release from Lockdown.
Back in April, CGA’s survey of operators found that well over a third (38%) were pessimistic about the market over the next 12 months – slightly more than those feeling optimistic (34%).
Only a fifth (20%) thought they’d return to profit by the end of 2021 and well over half (59%) feared their business would be unviable with the trading and government support they anticipated at the time.
These latest figures from CGA suggest that sales have exceeded operators’ expectations in some venues and categories – ‘though challenges around consumer confidence, debt, taxes and rising costs mean the Covid crisis is far from over.
Operators were understandably anxious as Ireland’s on-trade reopened but these figures show that sales are building some good momentum, says Sian Brennan, CGA’s Client Director, Ireland.
“It’s clear that Ireland’s consumers have badly missed their restaurants, pubs and bars and with the festive season and other occasions like Halloween approaching, there’s optimism that trading might recover fully by the end of the year.
“However, months of closure have badly damaged many businesses and they deserve extended support if they’re to help kickstart Ireland’s economic recovery from the Covid crisis.”