UK pub visits fall to lowest ever in 2012 Leisure Wallet Report

UK consumers have cut back on pub visits as part of their belt-tightening strategy.

Until now, UK consumers had maintained the frequency of their pub visits while reducing the spend per visit but Zolfo Cooper’s fifth Leisure Wallet Report has found that with price inflation and duty increases, the rising cost of going out to a restaurant or pub has reduced consumer visits to the lowest level the company has ever reported at 4.1 visits per month compared to 4.6 in last year’s report.

“The drop in pub visits is significant” reports Zolfo Cooper, “down by more than 10 per cent to fewer than 50 visits a year. Overall pub pend per year is down by more than seven per cent.”

Zolfo Cooper polled over 2,000 consumers last October for its 2012 report which found that while visit frequency declined, spend per visit increased by 4.2 per cent to £15.30 with young drinkers continuing to lead the way. The over-55s stated that they’re spending more too while the 34 to 54 age range has retrenched somewhat, spending 2.9 per cent less.

However the increased spend may be due to increasing on-trade alchol pricing, excise and VAT rises, resulting in consumers electing to limit the trips to their local but having to spend more when they do visit.

This drop in visits is most evident in the 18 to 34 year-old segment who report that they’re now visiting the pub 3.6 times a month compared to 4.1 visits in the previous report. But it seems that 35 to 54 year-olds are feeling the pinch even more with visits down to 3.8 per month against 4.6. The over 55s category – who’ve the most disposable income –  have not reduced their pub visits which have remained constant over the last three reports at 5.3 per month.

The report points out that consumers believe they’re spending more than 30 per cent less in pubs now than in 2010 although this is not borne out by operators’ results.

On a monthly basis, male consumers spend more than double that of females per month on drinkingn out.

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