Almost half of pub visits are wet-led

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Survey says: drink-led occasions made up nearly half of pub visits, according to Lumina Intelligence (image: Getty/LauriPatterson)
Survey says: drink-led occasions made up nearly half of pub visits, according to Lumina Intelligence (image: Getty/LauriPatterson)

Related tags Lumina Intelligence Wet-led pubs Beer Legislation

Two in five (42%) visits to pubs are for drink-only occasions, while almost a quarter (24%) of trips to the on-trade are for dinner, new research has revealed.

The latest Lumina Intelligence UK Pub & Bar Market Report 2021​, which includes data from the data company's Eating & Drinking Out Panel that tracks the behaviour of 1,500 consumers each week, went on to state lunch accounts for more than a fifth (22%) and breakfast 3% of all occasions, which it said provided an opportunity to boost breakfast and lunch sales through a ‘work from home’ lunch offer and Wi-Fi deals.

It also predicted the sector is set to grow by 63% this year, to a value of £14.8b with managed, branded and franchised pubs looking to have the strongest recovery – up 64% in 2021, with a greater proportion of sites able to capitalise on delivery and takeaway opportunities in the first half.

The report went on to predict by 2024, the UK pub and bar market will have recovered to and exceeded its 2019 market value.

The UK pub market is expected is expected to grow by more than half (51.8%) in 2022, reaching a value of £22.4bn before growth looks to stabilise at about 2% ahead of reaching a £23.4bn value in 2024.

Pub group growth

Furthermore, the top 10 pub groups by turnover are expected to see a considerable drop in turnover in the 2020/2021 financial years, led by closures and trading restrictions.

Whitbread, Marston’s and Mitchells & Butlers were among those seeing the largest turnover drop in this financial year.

However, growth in number of sites among the largest pub groups is expected to increase 1.6% with Admiral Taverns adding 674 pubs to its portfolio through its acquisition of Hawthorn​.

Amid the pandemic, many operators have turned to using technology in their operations and this is something a third (34%) of consumers agree with, saying they would prefer to keep using digital in pubs.

Significant opportunities

Lumina Intelligence senior insight manager Katherine Prowse said: “Despite a catastrophic past 18 months, the UK’s love affair with pubs remains intact and will see the market not only fully recover by 2024, but also outpace value growth in the total eating out market.

“The legacies of the pandemic present significant opportunities to operators and will remain key to market recovery.

“Delivery accounted for 50% of pub/bar occasions during lockdown and offers operators the chance to broaden its consumer base.

“The adoption of digital has resulted in a quicker, more seamless customer journey, which many customers are now used to and prefer.

“As well as offering a better experience, digital ordering and payment gives operators access to valuable data that allows them to understand their customers better.”

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