Predictions of a bumper millennium season have come true for the drinks industry with early indications showing sales approaching New Year were bigger than those in the week before Christmas. The multiples concentrated their heavyweight price activity on the big brands and there was less emphasis on stubby beer packs. Stores in the big conurbations benefited from the millennium celebrations. First Quench reported that its outlets in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, which are normally relatively quiet at this time, traded exceptionally well in the last week of the year. Wine and champagne sales led the way. Scottish Courage marketing director Brian Sharp reported sales into trade went well and he believes they sold through to consumers. But he said: "Prices went down too low, particularly on 24 packs of the big beer brands. These were a lot sharper than I thought they would get." Bass sales director John Holberry added: "There was a change of direction from the multiples. They took the prices down on the major brands and the big packs and paid less attention to the stubbies. They were in a much less prominent position than the last two years." On the plus side he said there were a lot more displays off shelf which helped to cater for the increased demand. "There is strong evidence that the beer has been sold as there has already been significant reordering." Northern regional chain Booth's had predicted a 20% increase in drinks sales. It recorded 32%. As well as a bumper Christmas for champagne, its liqueur sales were 50% up and its top beer seller was a Boddingtons 24 pack which went out at £14.89. {{DRINKS }}