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UK pubs must think beyond beer to survive

In 2016 every week 21 pubs closed down. Though pub visits are still one of the top leisure activities – they are declining. Those pubs that have survived are embracing key changes in consumer behaviour.

Pub visits used to be regular and habitual and primarily conducted by groups of men drinking alcohol. Now we are seeing an increase of pub visits with the whole family and it is perceived as more of a treat. This means visits may not happen as often, but if the offer is right, spend per visit can be significantly higher.

Consumers have busier lives and therefore when a family outing or friends’ reunion happen it is a special event. Pubs who have high quality food and offer more of a premium experience are more likely to be chosen for this bonding time.

Pubs are also no longer purely linked to alcohol consumption. Increasing concerns about health and fitness means many consumers are moderating their alcohol intake. According to a study by Carlsberg the number of non-alcoholic occasions in pubs are on the rise – therefore venues with a good range of premium soft drinks may win over those purely associated with beer.

To weather the storm pubs must embrace family audiences, offer a premium and unique experience and think beyond beer, ale and lager.

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