That’s according to a new report by Mintel called ‘British Lifestyles 2013: Examining the Legacy of the Economic Downturn’.
The study said that this is a clear sign of the increasing prices in pubs leading to customers cutting back on spending in such venues.
Mintel also found that consumers are drinking less because of steadily increasing drinks prices.
The study found that only 8% of adults spent more on alcoholic drinks in pubs and bars in January 2013, compared with the beginning of 2012. In the off-trade, this figure was 9%.
The report noted that the figures were “strongly driven” by 18 to 24-year-olds, “with the increasing popularity of ‘pre-loading’ to save money.
Of those surveyed, Mintel found that out of the customers who said they spent less money in the pub, 74% said that they wanted to save money.
Out of the respondents who said that they have spent more money in the pub, 44% explained that it is because prices have increased. Almost 40% said they spent more because they wanted to treat themselves.
The reported added: “There are also signs that austerity fatigue is setting in, with consumers occasionally looking to break the shackles of budgeting and treating themselves.”
In terms of type of drinks preferred by consumers, Mintel said that new types of drinks and brands are proving to be popular, with a renewal in the craft movement as seen with beer.
Mintel’s senior drinks analyst Chris Wisson said: “With no imminent signs of major economic improvement, price is likely to continue shaping the alcoholic drinks market. Price rises have been felt most acutely in the on-trade, leading to many consumers switching their drinking to the cheaper in-home channel or reducing their consumption.
“As a result, the on-trade market is particularly at risk, with its reliance on dwindling beer sales one of the reasons why pubs continue to close at an alarming rate.”
However, he added: “Strong enthusiasm for alcoholic drinks among UK consumers means that the market has been reasonably well safeguarded against the economic downturn, although consistently rising prices may see this reach a tipping point.”