Welham was in agreement with other industry leaders that this year will be challenging and he said: “It is no doubt set to be another interesting year for the hospitality and brewing industry.
“I think we are all feeling cautious about a potential decline in consumer confidence given the wider political picture.”
However, he was positive about what the coming year will bring and said there was an opportunity to refocus on customers and really bring to life Wadworth’s core purpose of making its customers’ day.
He said: “We need to stand out from the crowd in a competitive industry and next year is going to be quite tough.
People buy from people
Welham added: “We know there’s uncertainty around and also there are some cost headwinds building for everyone.
“Ultimately however, people buy from people and our customers take great confidence when we go above and beyond their expectations.”
He said the key focus for Wadworth was to “do what we do best, even better for our customers”.
Welham also said: “We will continue to leverage our ‘magical places, legendary pubs’ customer experience programme as we seek to win the fight for the consumer pound and protect that confidence that the consumer has in our brand.
“Innovation and responding to changing trends will continue to be key next year. “
A real call for nostalgia
Welham gave examples of the pubco and brewery’s new environments being created at its sites and its newly certified 6X Gold gluten-free beer and food offers.
He also said there had been a real call for nostalgia, which this year would ‘undoubtedly’ grow even more.
The brewer and pub operator boss added: “We have reinvigorated our iconic 6X beer with our “Old Cool is the New Cool” campaign and we will work this hard next year.
“The recent eBay Christmas campaign shows that generation Y are seeking out what their parents had in the past, whether that’s vinyl records, Adidas trainers or beers like 6X and we have a chance to really tap into this retro trend.
“Keeping the confidence of customers old and new is, therefore, key for me next year. And what better place to meet this challenge than feeling the “hug” of a great Wadworth pub!”