Beer and cider maintained charge for off-trade during heatwave

The early August heatwave saw beer and cider sales soar as the off-trade retained the buoyant position generated by lockdown.

Cider sales for the week ending August 15 were 49% ahead of the same week in 2019, with beer sales ahead by 42%.

These two categories’ performances were way ahead of the rest of off-trade BWS, which was up 24% overall, a small slowdown from growth of 27% seen in the week to August 1.

Wine sales growth fell to 9% in the week to August 15 from 24% two weeks earlier. Sparkling wine rose 20% in the week to August 15 and Champagne was up 16%.

Spirits growth slowed slightly to 21%.

For the whole Covid-19 period to date – measured by Nielsen from February 1 – off-trade BWS is up 25% on 2019, led by beer and cider.

Gemma Cooper, senior commercial business partner at Nielsen, said: “Off-trade growth slowed to 24% (+£81 million).

“We did see warmer weather which bolstered sales for the off-trade, particularly beer and cider which contributed to 57% of the overall value growth seen.

“RTD offerings in the off-trade saw a 46% increase due to a combination of the hot weather, and the growing presence of hard seltzers."