A night’s entertainment we can all drink to

You can safely bet your Confirmation money that suppliers know what they’re doing.

It’s interesting to note that research coming from the UK indicates a 15% rise in the number of food-led licensed premises in the last five years. Today, health issues are having an impact on this market with three in five out-of-home diners stating they’d actively try to lead a healthy lifestyle, according to CGA’s Future Shock report.

Here, Revenue Commissioners clearance figures show per adult consumption of alcohol declined by around 1.4% on average in 2017 continuing a general trend of falling alcohol consumption. Couple this rising demand for alternative beverages with CGA’s research and it’s not hard to see why suppliers are now taking a more serious journey down the Low Alcohol/No Alcohol route.

The effort and expense that goes into researching, planning, producing and launching a No Alcohol Low Alcohol Beer is not undertaken lightly, so you can safely bet your Confirmation money that suppliers know what they’re doing. In fact it’s their job to predict market trends, so the flurry of activity in the NABLAB segment right now is no doubt in response to consumer demand for a wider range of choice on a night out – and that includes all that’s on offer in an outlet.

“Young people reflect social change most radically because they’re partly its products,” psychologist Dr Herbert Hendin reminds us.

This translates easily into what today’s consumer now demands of the licensed trade – where once it sufficed to sell beer, wine and spirits, that’s no longer enough.

It’s that all-important ‘experience’ today’s vintner must sell, not just alcoholic beverage. Thus, while a huge market still, beverages are beginning to find themselves but a significant part of the night’s entertainment overall.

Today’s publicans might bear that in mind when structuring their offerings in 2018 and perhaps mull over the words of the 18th Century writer Sydney Smith: “He has spent all his life in letting down empty buckets into empty wells; and he is frittering away his age in trying to draw them up again”.

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