How on-premise sales are rebounding after NSW reopening

There’s been a huge bounce back for Sydney on-premise sales following the end of lockdown according to new data from Fonto, with off-premise sales remaining steady.

Fonto has just released the first of four weekly updates where it is analysing on-premise and off-premise purchasing in metro Sydney. The data shows on-premise activity in metro Sydney during “freedom week” was 80% of pre-lockdown levels, while the off-premise was down just 2% on the previous week.

Jon O’Loughlin, Head of Client Development at consumer data business Fonto, tipped prior to freedom week that sales in the off-premise would remain buoyant.

“We always see slight variations from week to week, so the 2% drop is not something of concern,” he said. “We know there was a fair amount of at-home entertaining last week as well, so that would have maintained the off-premise sales. Looking ahead, we expect Christmas to be strong for both on- and off-premise. People are looking forward to making the most of their freedom and are definitely not taking it for granted.”

O’Loughlin said he is anticipating on-premise sales will continue climb as consumer confidence grows.

“We expect it to keep climbing back to pre-lockdown levels,” he said. “How quickly is the million dollar question. Given we recovered 80% in one week, we think there is a chance it will get close to 100% this week.

“In particular, as we reached the 80% vaccination rate going into this week, venues were allowed to increase their capacity and are doing everything they can to accommodate as many patrons as they are allowed. In addition, COVID infections do not appear to have spiked, so that will encourage people to go out and spend on-premise. We will issue a week two update next Wednesday and will have a better view on the trend then.”

Fonto’s index consists of three elements – number of people buying, amount they spend and frequency of purchase. The number of people going out tripled, as did their spend, with frequency of purchase up 32%.

“Previously, consumers restricted how often they went to the store – as part of the lockdown effort – so spent more each time they went,” O’Loughlin said. “Now, people will visit the stores more often but will spend less per visit, as they are no longer needing to keep visits to the stores to a minimum.”\

Fonto provides free data to help on-premise get back on its feet

Fonto is offering free access to its weekly transactional data, covering both on-premise and off-premise categories, for the next four weeks to help the drinks industry get immediate insights around on- and off-premise activity during the NSW reopening.

“We know people will have lots of questions about on-premise activity – who is venturing out, where are they spending, how much are they spending etc – and whether it will have an impact on off-premise purchasing,” O’Loughlin said.

Fonto will provide weekly transactional data updates from October 21 to November 10 and is also offering discounted survey packages between now and the end of November.

Contact Jon O’Loughlin at

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