The company said one in five Millennials (those aged between 25 and 40) buy premium drinks, a factor in keeping the on-trade functioning. The claim comes after JD Wetherspoon (JDW) announced sales of spirits have risen while draught beer sales have declined.
The Tim Martin-operated business reported cocktails had seen a 45% sales rise, with vodka up 17% and rum boosted by 26%. However, traditional ales were down by almost a third (30%) and stout by a fifth (20%).
Pubs must premiumise
“As Millennials are the main drivers of pub sales, pubs will be looking to ‘premiumise’ in order to meet their tastes for more premium products such as cocktails,” said Ryan Whittaker, consumer analyst at GlobalData. “This will likely come at the expense of staples more associated with the Baby Boomer demographic such as traditional ales.
“According to GlobalData’s latest consumer survey, one in five (21%) UK Millennials reported they buy high-end or premium versions of spirits and beer.”
Whittaker added just 6% of Baby Boomers (those aged 57 to 75) make the same upmarket purchases and were spending much less frequently on these products in the third quarter of 2021 compared to Millennials.
Covid a factor for older drinkers
“Older consumer groups that are at greater risk from Covid-19 are understandably reticent about returning to high street pubs,” continued Whittaker. “Further, younger demographics’ presence in the post-work drinks scene is only set to increase.
“At the same time, consumer confidence is going to be hit by inflation, especially in terms of gas prices. For many consumers, this will reduce the pot for discretionary spending. Until these issues are less prominent, Millennials are going to be the ones keeping pubs alive. Operators need to target this group to better ride out future uncertainty.”