Drinking increases by 6% to overtake food spend

By James Evison

- Last updated on GMT

Drinking increases by 6% to overtake food spend

Related tags Leisure spend tracker United kingdom independence party Political party

Growth in drinking out spend in March outstripped that of eating out for the first time in the history of the Greene King Leisure Tracker.

Drinking out spend increased 6% year on year compared to the 5% for eating out. Compared to February the figures were up 2% and flat respectively.

The latest tracker showed a stark geographic divide in spending trends on eating out with the figure falling 3% in London and the South east but increasing 8% in the rest of the UK.

The rest of the country also led the growth in drinking out, up 8% compared to a marginal increase in London and the South East of 1%.

Overall, the average British household spent £195 on leisure in March, down 2% versus the same time last year and unchanged compared to February.

Fiona Gunn, Greene King’s marketing director said: “Although the gap has reduced this month, we are still seeing households cut their domestic leisure spend year-on-year. This could be due to people choosing to spend on big ticket items instead, such as cars and holidays, and last month saw Gatwick and Heathrow see record passenger numbers as many chose to get away for an early spring break.”

She added: “Most interestingly, the growth in spend on Drinking Out is the largest we have seen in the Leisure Spend Tracker and this month it even grew faster than Eating Out. As retail figures suggest, the high-street enjoyed relatively strong growth during March, so operators in these areas may have benefitted from passing footfall as shoppers looked to recharge with a drink during shopping trips.”

The tracker this month included a political breakdown, with those surveyed asked which political party leader they would prefer to have a pint with. Of those surveyed, 17% opted for UKIP’s Nigel Farage, followed by 13% for the Conservative’s David Cameron and 9% for Labour’s Ed Miliband, with 41% saying they would refuse to share a tipple with any of the leaders.

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