Britons drink the summer away as heatwaves boost booze sales

Francesca Washtell
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Cheltenham Festival Of Horse Racing 2015
Boozy picnic, anyone? (Though not if you're driving) (Source: Getty)

Alcohol sales soared off the back of hot weather from mid-July to mid-August, lifting the full-year performance of some drinks categories.

Beer and cider volumes rose by 4.7 per cent year-on-year in the four weeks to 13 August, according to data released today by Nielsen.

Consumers also shelled out more on their beer and cider drinks, with sales by value up 6.9 per cent to £27m and equivalent to 15m more pints.

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Lager volumes rose by 4.3 per cent, while cider volumes climbed 6.2 per cent.

"What's encouraging to see is that this has helped boost overall 52 week performance, with lager now growing over the year," said Jon Sheppard, client business manager at Nielsen.

"Furthermore, this is also helping to recover some of the cider declines we've seen of late with the yearly level of volume drop halved due to just these four weeks."

The four-week period of mostly good weather and the beginning of the Olympics added £2.8m more in alcohol sales than the four weeks leading up to the Euro 2016 championships.

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It was also the highest rise in summer booze sales since the July 2013 heatwave, when volume sales across categories rose by 27 per cent.

Outside of beer and cider, the value sales of both champagne and other sparkling wines grew by 4.9 per cent and 13.9 per cent respectively, though light wines and spirits both suffered.

Sparkling wine has become serious business in the UK, with the amount on sale increasing by 80 per cent over the past five years.

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