Ontrade Outlook 2019 - Premiumisation

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Consumers are more health conscious and as a result are making an effort to reduce their alcohol intake– however cutting down doesn’t always mean spending less. % of consumer who have reduced their alcohol intake – by age group

51% 47% 38% 30% 18-24




% of consumer who are planning to reduce their alcohol intake in 2019 – by age group

50% 45% 39% 29% 18-24




Pub customers are fast becoming more health conscious. A recent study into Generation Z told us that 49% of those aged 18-24 would rather go to the gym at the end of a day than the pub. Pubs need to understand the impact this will have on the opportunities for attracting new customers and gaining maximum spend from those who are already visiting. It may be that customers are looking to spend the same but on higher quality products, it may be that spend is switching to mocktails from cocktails, either way, consumers are becoming more spend-savvy every day and the pub industry needs to have a broadened offer to take these trends into consideration and not lose customers.

Consumer trends have shifted to ‘little and often’ across all areas of leisure spend and the pub is no exception, with consumers looking for better quality experiences as a whole The weekend millionaire isn’t a new concept, but it is one that seems to not be going away. Of those people who told us they were drinking less, many are simply drinking better- their spend is the same but they’re looking for better quality experiences. Provenance and origin are important to the modern consumer and so when he/she is out spending hard-earned income, they want to feel like they’re buying into quality. A back story to a drink, a meal or an experience all help to provide a holistic approach to a pub visit.

Q. Why are you drinking less often but spending more each time you do?

To make having a drink more of a treat


I'm trying to reduce my alcohol intake


I'd rather have a premium drink and I can't afford to have that all the time


I'm only drinking at the weekends


I'm only drinking when it's a special occasion


I'm trying to keep to the recommended weekly intake levels


The premiumisation trend is growing yet customers still have a desire for value for money and for some customers this still equates to quantity over quality.

Q. If you had the choice, for the same amount of money, would you rather have 3 gin & tonics (with the house gin and standard tonic) or 2 gin & tonics with a premium gin and premium tonic)?

63% 38%

18-24 yrs



25-34 yrs

3 standard gin & tonics

52% 48%

35-54 yrs



55+ yrs

2 premium gin & tonics

It’s very important to distinguish between price and value for money. A consumer will happily spend more on a product if they believe the entire value for money proposition is good- the atmosphere, speed of service, perfect serve, being made to feel welcome, knowledgeable bar staff- these and many other factors contribute to whether a customer feels they are getting value from a visit. Price is just one of the variables.

71% of publicans have seen an increase in purchases of premium drinks

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