Millennials keep UK pubs alive during COVID-19 pandemic, as over one in five buy premium drinks, says GlobalData

Following the recent announcement from Wetherspoons that cocktail sales have soared compared to traditional sales;

Ryan Whittaker, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“As millennials are the main drivers of pub sales, pubs will be looking to ‘premiumize’ in order to meet their tastes for more premium products such as cocktails. This will likely come at the expense of staples more associated with the baby boomer demographic such as traditional ales.

“According to GlobalData’s latest consumer survey*, one in five (21%) UK millennials reported that they buy high-end or premium versions of spirits and beer. In comparison, only 6% of baby boomers reported the same. UK baby boomers were spending much less frequently on these products in Q3 2021 compared to millennials.

“Older consumer groups that are at greater risk from COVID-19 are understandably reticent about returning to high street pubs. Further, younger demographics’ presence in the post-work drinks scene is only set to increase.

“At the same time, consumer confidence is going to be hit by inflation, especially in terms of gas prices. For many consumers, this will reduce the pot for discretionary spending. Until these issues are less prominent, millennials are going to be the ones keeping pubs alive. Operators need to target this group to better ride out future uncertainty.”

*Data taken from GlobalData’s Q3 2021 Consumer Survey – the UK (September 2021) with 687 respondents

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