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Pub Catering - UK - May 2019

Covered in this report

Pub catering is defined as covering meals of any kind sold in public houses, with the exclusion of any drinks and also excluding packaged snack products (eg crisps, nuts, pork scratchings). However, whilst not included in the market size, these products are discussed elsewhere in the report where relevant.

All pubs (public houses) and bars have on-trade licences to serve alcoholic drink for consumption on the premises. These licences may also be granted to other outlets, such as hotels or cinemas, but a pub has at least some traditional characteristics that differentiate it from other bars.

Licensed restaurants are excluded from Mintel’s definition of pub restaurants, as are hotels for which drinks form only a part of the overall business. Other premises, which may have full on-licences but are not generally open to the public, including licensed clubs, a variety of leisure venues and college bars, are also excluded.

“A shift to eating locally sourced ingredients will lead to demand for more seasonal varieties of meat, fish and vegetables as well as British-made products on pub menus. However, pubs/bars risk missing vital sales opportunities if they fail to cater to under-45s who choose to stay dry, and still enjoy the experience of consuming high-quality alcohol-free drinks.”
– Trish Caddy, Senior Foodservice Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Families just want to have fun
  • Baby Boomers' ethical values
  • 18-24 year olds crave new experiences

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Pub catering shows signs of slowing growth
              • Figure 1: Forecast for the value of the pub catering market, 2013-23
            • Companies and brands
              • JD Wetherspoon plays the long game
                • Veganism hits the mainstream
                  • Potential for pub takeaways to grow
                    • The consumer
                      • Pub dining participation bounces back
                        • Figure 2: Change in overall visits, March 2017-March 2019
                      • Dinner occasions face more competition from other mealtimes
                        • Figure 3: Pub meal occasions, April 2018 and March 2019
                      • Seasonal menus are most desirable
                        • Figure 4: Most popular types of pub menus, March 2019
                      • Untapped potential for pizza and pies
                        • Figure 5: Interest vs participation in new menu items, March 2019
                      • Alcoholic drinks are losing their grip on under-45s
                        • Figure 6: Most popular types of drinks, March 2019
                      • More can be done to promote healthier drinks in pubs
                        • Figure 7: Reasons for drinking tap water, March 2019
                      • Independent gastropubs have the most positive accolades
                        • Figure 8: Correspondence analysis, March 2019
                      • Affluent but time-poor consumers’ ‘third space’ mindset
                        • Figure 9: Attitudes towards pub catering, March 2019
                      • What we think
                      • Issues and Insights

                        • Families just want to have fun
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • Baby Boomers' ethical values
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • 18-24 year olds crave new experiences
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                          • Pub catering shows signs of slowing growth
                                            • Consumers advised to avoid fish/seafood
                                              • Meat and cancer link explained
                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                • Pub catering market worth £7.7 billion in 2018
                                                  • Figure 10: Forecast for the value of the pub catering market, 2013-23
                                                • Forecast: attractive opportunities remain
                                                    • Figure 11: Forecast for the value of the pub catering market, 2013-23
                                                  • Forecast methodology
                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                      • Time to stop eating fish?
                                                        • Meat and cancer link explained
                                                        • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                          • JD Wetherspoon plays the long game
                                                            • Veganism hits the mainstream
                                                              • Potential for pub takeaways to grow
                                                                • Consumers have positive associations with most pubs
                                                                • Competitive Strategies

                                                                  • JD Wetherspoon plays the long game
                                                                    • In-house support to ensure pubs are sustainable in the long term
                                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                      • Food halls
                                                                        • Click-and-collect
                                                                          • Vegan mainstream
                                                                          • Brand Research

                                                                              • Brand map
                                                                                • Figure 12: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, April 2019
                                                                              • Key brand metrics
                                                                                • Figure 13: Key metrics for selected brands, April 2019
                                                                              • Brand attitudes: JD Wetherspoon is most innovative while Hungry Horse needs to work on its value proposition
                                                                                • Figure 14: Attitudes, by brand, April 2019
                                                                              • Brand personality: JD Wetherspoon is most accessible and therefore least exclusive
                                                                                • Figure 15: Brand personality – macro image, April 2019
                                                                              • Both Toby Carvery and Harvester are most family-led and the least cool brands of all
                                                                                • Figure 16: Brand personality – micro image, April 2019
                                                                              • Brand analysis
                                                                                • JD Wetherspoon has the highest participation level and most positive associations of all
                                                                                  • Figure 17: User profile of JD Wetherspoon, April 2019
                                                                                • Toby Carvery outranks the other brands as the most traditional and friendly
                                                                                  • Figure 18: User profile of Toby Carvery, April 2019
                                                                                • Harvester outranks the others as the healthiest
                                                                                  • Figure 19: User profile of Harvester, April 2019
                                                                                • Walkabout outranks the other brands as the most cool and special
                                                                                  • Figure 20: User profile of Walkabout, April 2019
                                                                                • Beefeater lacks differentiation and ranks the lowest in innovation
                                                                                  • Figure 21: User profile of Beefeater, April 2019
                                                                                • Hungry Horse doesn't stand out much
                                                                                  • Figure 22: User profile of Hungry Horse, April 2019
                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                • Pub dining participation bounces back
                                                                                  • Dinner occasions face more competition from other mealtimes
                                                                                    • Seasonal menus are most desirable
                                                                                      • Untapped potential for pizza and pies
                                                                                        • Alcoholic drinks are losing their grip on under-45s
                                                                                          • More can be done to promote healthier drinks in pubs
                                                                                            • Independent gastropubs have the most positive accolades
                                                                                              • Affluent but time-poor consumers’ ‘third space’ mindset
                                                                                              • Frequency of Visits

                                                                                                • Daytime visits attract regulars…
                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Frequency of visits, March 2019
                                                                                                • …whilst evening diners more likely to visit as a rare treat
                                                                                                  • Pub dining participation rates have bounced back after falling in 2018
                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Change in overall visits, March 2017-March 2019
                                                                                                • Most Popular Meal Occasions

                                                                                                  • Pubs pulling in more breakfast and lunch diners
                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Pub meal occasions, April 2018 and March 2019
                                                                                                  • Frequency of daytime meal occasions
                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Frequency of visits to eat during the day, by meal occasions, March 2019
                                                                                                  • Frequency of evening meal occasions
                                                                                                  • Most Popular Types of Pub Menus

                                                                                                    • Far more women want vegetarian and vegan menus than men
                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Most popular types of pub menus, March 2019
                                                                                                      • Seasonal menus are most desirable
                                                                                                        • Seasonal breakfast/brunch menu: focus on lighter options
                                                                                                          • Seasonal lunch menu: focus on lighter options
                                                                                                            • Seasonal dinner menu: focus on meat options
                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Most popular types of pub menus, by meal occasions, March 2019
                                                                                                            • Under-45s shun fish/seafood
                                                                                                              • Eat the seasons
                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Repertoire of most popular types of pub menus, March 2019
                                                                                                              • Focus on meat seasons
                                                                                                                • Focus on locally sourced snacks
                                                                                                                  • Get creative with root-to-stem recipes
                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Examples of locally sourced and seasonal dishes, 2019
                                                                                                                  • Festive menus should be fun
                                                                                                                  • New Food Items

                                                                                                                    • Young, urban families have eaten ice cream in pubs/bars
                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Interest vs participation in new menu items, March 2019
                                                                                                                    • Everyone loves hand-scooped ice cream, especially women
                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Ice cream counter by Il Gelato di Ariela, as seen at Pub19, February 2019
                                                                                                                    • Untapped potential for pizza and pies
                                                                                                                      • Pizza participation is London-centric
                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Pizza and pie foodservice concepts, as seen at Pub19, February 2019
                                                                                                                      • Pizza for breakfast, anyone?
                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Interest vs participation in new menu items, by meal occasions, March 2019
                                                                                                                      • Bring gourmet pies into small towns
                                                                                                                        • Snacking occasions drive demand for finger foods
                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Japanese-style snack products, as seen at Pub19, February 2019
                                                                                                                        • Japanese-style snacks
                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Interest vs participation in new menu items, by meal occasions, March 2019
                                                                                                                        • Gourmet pork crackling
                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Examples of gourmet pork crackling products, February 2019
                                                                                                                          • Young, urban families have had gourmet bread items in pubs/bars
                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Handmade breads by Crazy Baker, as seen at Pub19, February 2019
                                                                                                                          • Use better bread for lunch
                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Interest vs participation in new menu items, by meal occasions, March 2019
                                                                                                                        • Most Popular Types of Drinks

                                                                                                                          • Alcoholic drinks are losing their grip on under-45s
                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Most popular types of drinks, March 2019
                                                                                                                          • Under-45s curb desire to drink
                                                                                                                            • Promote alcohol-free dinners
                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Meal occasions, by most popular types of drinks, March 2019
                                                                                                                            • Develop a good selection across three drink categories
                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Repertoire of most popular types of drinks, March 2019
                                                                                                                            • Three core categories: alcoholic drinks, fizzy drinks and hot drinks
                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Most popular types of drinks, by most popular types of drinks, March 2019
                                                                                                                          • Reasons for Drinking Tap Water

                                                                                                                            • More can be done to promote healthier drinks in pubs
                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Reasons for drinking tap water, March 2019
                                                                                                                            • The experience of kombucha
                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Kombucha draft system by Biogroupe, as seen at Pub19, February 2019
                                                                                                                            • Alcohol drinkers turn to tap water to stay hydrated
                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Tap water usage, by most popular types of drinks, March 2019
                                                                                                                          • Perceptions of Pub Meals

                                                                                                                            • Independent gastropubs have the most positive accolades
                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Correspondence analysis, March 2019
                                                                                                                            • Harvester contends with the double-edged sword of healthy offerings
                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Perceptions of pub meals, March 2019
                                                                                                                            • Most consider JD Wetherspoon’s meals to be good value for money
                                                                                                                              • Toby Carvery serves the best comfort food
                                                                                                                              • Attitudes towards Pub Catering

                                                                                                                                • Affluent but time-poor consumers’ ‘third space’ mindset
                                                                                                                                  • A pub/bar is cosier than a chain restaurant…
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Attitudes towards pub catering, March 2019
                                                                                                                                    • …but pub chains still lag behind independent pubs/bars in customer service
                                                                                                                                      • Women and over-45s’ ethical mindset
                                                                                                                                        • Support local
                                                                                                                                          • Focus on fresh veg
                                                                                                                                            • City-dwellers love shortcuts
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Examples of cocktails on tap, as seen at Pub19, February 2019
                                                                                                                                              • 18-44 year olds crave new experiences
                                                                                                                                                • Experience of stomach sensations
                                                                                                                                                  • Guide to Japanese sake
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Examples of Japanese sake, by Gekkeikan Sake Company, as seen at Pub19, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                  • Ride the food hall wave
                                                                                                                                                    • Concoct a one-of-a-kind special occasion
                                                                                                                                                      • Bespoke family celebrations or special occasions – CHAID analysis
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Attitudes towards pub catering – CHAID – Tree output, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                          • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                            • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                                                                                                                                              • CHAID analysis methodology
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Attitudes towards pub catering – CHAID – Table output, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                              • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK pub catering sales, 2018-23

                                                                                                                                                              Pub Catering - UK - May 2019

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