Women drive pub visit growth

By Alice Leader

- Last updated on GMT

Attractive offer: pubs are experiencing a healthy growth from smaller demographics
Attractive offer: pubs are experiencing a healthy growth from smaller demographics

Related tags Women Pub Trends

New insight shows that pub visits by men declined by 0.8% in 2019, but there was a 1.6% increase in female customers, who now account for 48.7% of all pub customers.

The data, sourced by The NPD Group, looked at the sales and visit patterns at British pubs, and concluded male visits were down and it was only female visits driving growth.

However, among other trends, it also outlined how visits from the upper middle class and middle class social groups were also in decline for the year ending December 2019, while lower middle class and skilled working class visits are in growth.

The ‘non-working’ demographic (pensioners, casual staff, unemployed), which accounts for 10% of pub patronage, saw visits decline by 17.1% in 2019 and the upper middle class group, which accounts for 9% of pub custom, saw visits decline by 16.5%.

Yet, the strongest growth is coming from the lower middle class – with visits up 10.3% year-on-year and now being the most important group for pubs, accounting for 28.1% of all visits.

Particularly positive

The NPD Group insights manager foodservice Peter Linden said: “These findings further underline the ability of pubs to adapt and evolve their offers to changing trends.

“With pub closures believed to have bottomed out, this is a market that is now experiencing healthy growth, and this growth is coming from a range of day parts and demographics.”

The research also showed pubs are winning with young consumers because the Gen Z (18 to 24-year-olds) age group is showing the strongest growth.

Gen Z only accounts for 6% of visits to pubs, but this has increased rapidly during 2019 as the figure was only 5% the year before.

Those aged between 50 and 64 accounted for the biggest decrease, with visits down 3.5%. However, this demographic still accounts for 25.3% of all visits.

Linden continued: “It is particularly positive to see visits from young adults growing strongly because pubs have worked hard in recent years to attract this demographic.

“Efforts in recent years to attract more younger consumers include improving ranges of craft beer, offering premium spirits, high-quality coffee and good food, and ensuring there are good Wi-Fi connections and charging ports in pubs.”

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