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Carlsberg UK Unveils 2015/16 Consumer Insights Report

The second annual Carlsberg UK Consumer Insights Report explores the current trends and consumer buying behaviours shaping the UK on-trade and has found that consumers are enjoying a new found confidence, while value-seeking habits developed during the recession, remain.

This year’s report reveals that consumers are spending more out of the home than ever before. £145bn was spent in the leisure market in 20141. Almost 60% of people are looking for new experiences2. These experiences are shifting into new leisure sub sectors forcing pubs, which remain the number one consumer weekly activity, to compete with coffee shops and restaurants, which are growing in visits ahead of pubs, up 5% and 4% respectively, versus 2% for pubs.

At home occasions are also rising as consumers spend more time in their homes to save money during the week. This is driving the trend for treat occasions at the weekend, with 31% of consumers budgeting over £30 for a weekend occasion, versus 9% during the week. These findings reflect consumers engaging in fewer occasions, but spending more each time.

81% of those surveyed stated they want to moderate their drinking3, presenting the trade with unrivalled insight into changing consumer behaviour, and where the opportunities lie.

Purchases are also becoming more considered, forcing the pub to fight for its share of the leisure pound in a climate of intense competition for the trade and an explosion of choice for consumers.

Key findings:

  • Spend on consumer experiences is growing faster than any other out of home activity. What’s more, activities offering an educational element are booming. 66% stated ‘entertainment should be about learning new things as well as having fun’, and 45% listed the iconic pub quiz as the number one activity choice in the pub4.
  • 47% of consumers visit the on-trade weekly1, with visits to pubs, coffee shops, gyms, restaurants, sports events and shopping all in growth – this rises to 62% with the under 25s5
  • Over 35s are just as likely to visit a coffee shop as a pub, while Millennials are just as likely to go to the gym or go shopping as go to the pub
  • The pub remains first choice for consumers frequenting the on-trade
  • The number of women visiting the on-trade has grown by 1.4% since 2011, with 23% of women now visiting the pub weekly5
  • Quality of food now outranks value for money when consumers outline the most important factors in choosing a pub
  • Increasingly sophisticated at-home entertainment is playing a key role in removing consumer occasions from the on-trade
  • Digital platforms, including social media are growing in importance to consumers visiting the on-trade, with an average 1.4 hours spent browsing and socialising per day6

David Scott, Director of Brands and Insight at Carlsberg UK, commented: “The British on-trade has faced its fair share of adversity in recent years, confronted with recession and fragile consumer confidence, so it’s enormously encouraging to report a rise in spending and confidence growing – now driving the channel.

“While the Carlsberg UK Consumer Insights Report highlights new and on-going challenges for the UK pub, the study also delivers key insight to trends and opportunities, including value in sport or all-day dining in pubs, and an in-depth understanding of today’s pub-goer. For example, we know that four in five people are now really thinking about their alcohol habits and plan to moderate their drinking – a significant consumer movement and opportunity for pubs3.”

View or download the 2015/16 Carlsberg UK Consumer Insights Report here:



1Oxford Economics/Future Foundation nVision, September 2015

2Future Foundation/nVision Research | Base: 5,000 online respondents aged 16+, GB, 2013

³Future Foundation | nVision Research | Base: 4,666 online respondents aged 16+, GB, 2015 February

4nVision Research | Base 1,000 online respondents aged 16+, GB, 2014 April

5Kantar Worldpanel Alcovision 7 day penetration by on-trade demographic 2015

6The Telegraph: Is your daily social media usage higher than average? 17.5.15