Boost in spend on premium food and drink good for pubs

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Two-track recovery leading to higher spend on premium
Two-track recovery leading to higher spend on premium

Related tags Hamburger Economics

Brits are continuing to buy less, but better quality, which is driving spend in gourmet dining establishments and boosting volume sales of Champagne and craft beer, research from Mintel has shown.

Certain markets, such as gourmet dining, sparkling wine and craft beer, were flourishing as a result of the UK's two-track recovery, said Mintel.

"As higher earners are feeling better off, they are indulging themselves by spending on experiences and enjoying themselves," the research firm added.

Figures also showed 38% of consumers with a household income of £50,000 or more felt better off when compared with a year ago and compared with just 16% of those with an income of under £9,500.

Up 3.5% on the previous year

Mintel chart

Sales in the foodservice market reached an estimated £36bn in 2015, up 3.5% on the previous year.

In part, the rise was spurred on by the increased use of the word 'gourmet' to describe food masquerading as higher quality, according to Mintel.

About 7% of fast-food chain visitors, for example, switched to gourmet burger outlets, which helped grow overall spend on chicken and burgers by 5% to £4.7bn in 2015, the research showed.

Alcohol sales followed a similar trend, with Brits drinking less often, but buying more expensive items when choosing to drink.

Sparkling wine grows

Volume sales of sparkling wine grew by 14% to 107 million litres in 2015 and £1.3bn in value.

Craft labels also boosted the sale of beer. One in six Brits bought a craft lager in the three months to November 2015, while 18% bought a craft ale or bitter. The beer market is now worth £16.7bn, according to Mintel.

Senior consumer and lifestyles analyst at Mintel Ina Mitskavets said: "Britain's economic growth over the past few years has outstripped many other major economies, and wages have been rising above inflation. While there has not been a big improvement in overall consumer confidence, better-off Britons are clearly pulling away from the rest.

"Higher earners feel more confident about their finances and show more willingness to spend across more indulgent categories, such as leisure, holidays and foodservice."

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