3 key trends shaping the pub market

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Expert insight: Lumina Intelligence's Maggie Davis highlights top trends shaping the pub sector
Expert insight: Lumina Intelligence's Maggie Davis highlights top trends shaping the pub sector

Related tags Multi-site pub operators Pubco + head office Cardiff

Utilising space, tapping into experiences and drinks innovation are three trends operators should be showcasing in their businesses, one expert urged.

Lumina Intelligence insight manager Maggie Davis explained the trends to delegates at The Morning Advertiser​’s MA Leaders conference in Cardiff last week (Thursday 16 May).

1. Space utilisation

She said: “Pubs diversifying in order to survive has been a common theme since the pandemic, [with operators] capitalising on rooms such as Heartwood Inns, which rebranded to incorporate pubs with rooms​ and St Austell’s work resulting in the business winning Best Accommodation Operato​r at the 2024 Publican Awards.”

Furthermore, Davis outlined the how consumers view pubs having external spaces.

“Over the past year, we have seen a growing importance in outside areas as during July, 10% of consumers were likely to choose a venue based on their outside space.”

Davis stated by enhancing the functionality and appeal of spaces can attract a wider range of customers and increase revenue potential.

2. Experience

In contrast, the report also looked at the importance of maximising indoor spaces, highlighting the rise in experiential venues.

Davis said: “The competitive socialising sector is growing at a rapid rate. [The] majority of the top performing venues are experiential concepts.

“Boom Battle Bar and NQ64 have grown exponentially and are seeing triple digit growth (1550% and 333% respectively).”

She went on to give other examples of how pubs were focusing on immersive events to boost engagement such as a Q&A with former Chelsea and England footballer Wayne Bridge at Stonegate Group’s Club House 5​.

“Over the next five years, [we are] expecting more immersive events,” Davis added.

“Pubs are diversifying offering beyond drink and food with events that focus on customer engagement.”

3. Drink innovation

Lumina data showed almost a fifth of pubgoers never or rarely drink alcohol, signalling the rise in low and no-alcohol consumers.

“Low to no innovation is relevant to one in five pubgoers. Information from Lumina’s Eating and Drinking out panel found 19.4% of those surveyed said they never or rarely drink alcohol – up 1.4pp year on year.

“[This is] expected to grow as consumers move more towards a moderated lifestyle.”

Lumina identified exactly who it is that is driving this change – men, aged 18 to 24.

Davis said: “[It is] clear younger, less affluent males are a key group who are targeting low to no innovation.”

Menu innovation reflected changing consumer preferences, according to the report.

“The average non-alcoholic cocktail price higher than average non-alcoholic drink,” Davis added.

She urged operators to expand non-alcoholic drink offerings to align with the growing sober curiosity trend and cater to the diverse needs of groups.

Related topics MA Leaders Club

Related news

Show more