One-third to drink less or no alcohol in venuesBy Alice Brooker
An annual market report has revealed 31% of British consumers are aiming to drink less or no alcohol when they return to on-trade venues.
The report, by mixer producer Fentimans and research consultancy CGA, has revealed the hospitality trends in the on-trade following the effects of the pandemic.
The survey gathered data from a range of CGA’s sources on consumer behaviours in the on-trade, including a quarterly survey of 5,000 British respondents.
The report also showed that nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents are now trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. This increase in health-consciousness explains why consumers are committing to drinking alcohol in lower quantities, claimed Fentimans.
Recently, a YouGov survey of 2,079 UK-based participants similarly revealed that almost one in three consumers choose low- or no-alcohol drinks on a semi-regular basis.
Andrew Jackson, marketing director at Fentimans, said: “With so much change to our lives over the past 24 months, this year The Fentimans Market Report feels more important than ever before.
“It’s clear that Covid-19 and lockdowns have triggered significant shifts in the way that consumers behave. Some are likely to be temporary, but others may well prove to be permanent.
“Confidence in the industry has been bolstered by signs that consumers are eager to get back to drinking and eating out.”
Dave Lancaster, client director at CGA, said the pandemic has changed consumers “in so many ways”.
“While some trends like staying close to home and splashing out on treats after so long in lockdown may well retreat in the coming months, other developments – like the desire to carefully plan nights out, to use technology to discover, order and pay for drinks, and to follow healthy and sustainable lifestyles – are probably here to stay,” he added.
Responses to digital developments
The report also unveiled consumer attitudes towards new digital measures in hospitality venues, including the rise of QR codes, digital booking and ordering, which have increased in venues as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.
Two in five (40%) consumers think technology has improved their hospitality experiences, compared with only 11% who believe it has made the experience worse.
However, the survey also noted that consumers are less satisfied with new technological developments than they were last summer. The report suggests that, as a result of this data, people are seeking to reclaim the physical contact that has been reduced due to the pandemic.
Supporting local venues
Another key trend identified is consumers’ pledge to support local venues and brands post-pandemic.
One in three respondents said they would continue to visit local outlets more often following the pandemic, and 20% would commit to buying local drinks brands in the on-trade.
The report suggests that a renewed commitment to local brands is due to lockdowns reconnecting people to nearby hospitality venues and retailers, plus bringing communities together.
For more on current trends in the on-trade, check out our round-up of cocktail trends to watch in 2022.