It seems pints were flatter than ever this season, with Christmas beer sales down over the festive period – with volumes down year-on-year.
Using Vianet's iDraught cellar and bar management system, the total volume of sales between 16 December 2016 and 1 January 2017 were recorded, comparing them to the same period in the previous year. Data revealed that overall beer volumes were slightly down at 1%.
Not surprisingly the three top trading days over the period – in terms of volume – were Christmas Eve, the last Friday before Christmas and New Year's Eve – mirroring those of the previous year.
Margins were also down for pubs that were open and trading on Christmas day, down 0.81% from 2015. There was also a decrease in volumes for sites trading on New Year's day – 0.72%.
Viagnet's sample comprised of over 11,700 managed, independent, tenanted and leased pubs across the UK.
'Our insight data shows that the festive period is one which traditionally features the three highest volume trading days for pubs, so operators will no doubt be a little disappointed that overall beer volumes were down on the previous year,' said a Vianet Group spokesperson.
'It suggests that that like-for-like sales growth that many operators have reported has come via price uplifts versus December 2015 and, of course, food.
'Our data consistently shows that sporting events are among the most powerful drivers of beer trading peaks, so with the Six Nations rugby tournament kicking off early next month, there is a great opportunity for pubs to boost beer sales.'
Here's hoping for a fizzier 2017...