Consumers celebrating Christmas are set to spend an additional £562m this year on drinks out-of-home, according to data and insights company, CGA.
The company says it expects 211 million visits to be made to pubs, bars, and restaurants over the festive period, based on daily sales data from over 5,000 managed outlets.
It reports that though the number of consumers visiting the on-trade over Christmas 2016 was down by 4% year-on-year, spending from those that did was strong. Drinks sales rose 4.4% on the previous year. However dry sales dropped slightly by 0.7% in value terms. Drinks also accounted for a 55% split of the total sales, up 1% from 2015.
Average spend on a celebratory occasion was £56.02 over Christmas 2016, compared with £44.70 on an average social occasion during December.
'Last year consumer confidence was muted pre-Brexit,' Philip Montgomery, CGA client director (drinks), said. 'This year consumer confidence is still shaky so it’s unclear if consumers will rein-in spending or want to treat themselves.
'However, Christmas is a crucial time for operators who need to make sure they are making the most of footfall throughout December by encouraging customers to trade-up with special promotions, new products and exciting, tempting offers.'
According to CGA, 47% of those our celebrating last year (equating to 9.3 million people) tried something new with hot alcoholic drinks, sparkling wine, cocktails and champagne, among the top choices.
Spirits remain the favourite Christmas drink, making up 18.9% of total serves, an increase of nearly 4% against an average four-week period.
CGA also reports that over a third of people at 36%, were willing to pay extra for a better quality drink than they’d normally choose, with 24% acting on recommendations from bar staff.