Restaurants, Guinness and spirits have benefitted from the reopening of the hospitality sector in Northern Ireland, according to on premise measurement, insight and research consultancy CGA.
CGA stated, "Restaurants, Guinness and spirits have been among the category winners in the early days of the reopening of hospitality in Northern Ireland, according to CGA research.
"On premise drinks sales in May - which included just over three weeks of outside-only service and seven days of indoor trading 0 were little over half the levels of the same day in 2019, demonstrating the limitations of service that have faced pubs, bars and restaurants throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
"However, some parts of the market have fared better than others. Restaurants' share of drinks sales in May was up by two percentage points on the same month in 2019, suggesting that some consumers were prioritising food-led occasions as the market reopened.
"Within the drinks market, spirits’ share of sales was four percentage points up on May 2019, thanks in part to many drinkers toasting the return of pubs and bars with cocktails and shots. Stout - a category dominated by Guinness - gained three percentage points year-on-year, as consumers sought the draught experiences they had missed during the closure of the on premise."
CGA Client Director, Ireland, Statement
CGA client director, Ireland, Sian Brennan stated, "Consumers have been eager to get back to pubs, bars and restaurants in Northern Ireland, and the early sales trends suggest they have been in celebratory mood.
"In line with experiences in Britain and other countries, drinking-out can be expected to gradually settle back towards pre-COVID-19 patterns, but some of the changes in consumers' behaviour are going to be long lasting. All drinks suppliers and operators will have to stay right on top of these evolving habits if they are to optimise range and price and make the most of the opportunities as the market recovers."
CGA added, "All data is taken from CGA's on premise measurement service, which together with in-depth consumer research is helping to show drinks sales trends as the market reopens in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland."
Pick-Up In Services Sector Business Activity
The above news came as Ulster Bank's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for June showed that there was a pick-up in services sector business activity in Northern Ireland during the second quarter of 2021.
As reported by The Irish News, services firms reported their fastest business activity growth rate in more than seven years.
The Irish News quotes Ulster Bank's chief economist, Richard Ramsey, as saying that "services was the only sector to report a pick-up in business activity in June."
Ramsey reportedly also said, "This was not unexpected given that June was the first full month that the hospitality sector has been open since lockdown restrictions were eased."
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