Pubs’ popularity staying strong

Demographics are changing, but bars are still the UK’s leisure king

The report shows 26-35 year olds are the least price sensitive age group

THE pub remains the most popular ‘out-of-home’ destination for consumers across the UK, according to Carlsberg.

The brewer’s latest Consumer Insights Report found that, in a changing hospitality industry, pubs remain the most popular type of venue in the country.

But the research also identified changes in consumer demographics.

One of the most notable findings in the report, which comprises survey data from over 1600 consumers, was that there is a clear differentiation between older and younger ‘millennials’ – who are often categorised as everyone aged between 18 and 35.

For example, while 18 to 25 year olds were found to be very price-driven, while having higher service expectations, 26 to 35 year olds were found to be the least price sensitive of all age groups when dining out and buying drinks.

As to the future role of pubs, 26 to 35 year olds were found to be the most open-minded about the ways in which in a pub could increase its importance in the community, with over 70% saying they think their local should open early for breakfast. Location and atmosphere were shown to be hugely important for wet-led pubs, with Sundays becoming increasingly vital in the on-trade.

Social media analysis revealed the concept of ‘Sunday Funday’ has risen markedly in popularity over the last three years, typically featuring an earlier start to the day.

Alistair Gaunt, vice president of national sales at Carlsberg UK, said the study will prove valuable for licensees, saying: “This report provides meaningful insights into consumer habits and the evolving way we need to approach our definitions of consumer groups.

“For instance, the findings from the report have shown that by using one descriptor of ‘millennial’ for such a wide, and profitable, collective of people operators can really be missing a trick.”