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Pub Visiting - UK - May 2019

Covered in this report

This report examines the market for pub visiting, with the primary focus on drinking in pubs/bars. A separate Mintel report, Pub Catering – UK, May 2019, looks at the role of food in pubs in more detail. The market size in this Report refers to pub sales of food, alcohol, soft drinks and other items such as from snacks and vending machines.

The market size includes pubs and bars with on-trade licences to serve alcoholic drink for consumption on the premises. However, it excludes other outlets which may have been granted these licences, such as hotels or cinemas, but whose primary business activity is not the serving of drinks/food. Restaurants are also excluded.

“Locally sourced food and drink attracts strong consumer interest and offers a viable means for pubs/bars to appeal beyond price. Flagging up that certain meal components or drinks are sourced locally would also help to strengthen the idea of pubs as supporting the local economy, evoking a feel-good factor.”
– Alice Baker, Research Analyst

This Report will cover the following areas:

  • Consumers’ price consciousness sets pubs/bars a challenge
  • Locally sourced food and drink appeals to many
  • Technological innovations can bring advantages, but must not overshadow the social aspects of pubs/bars

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Revenues rise over 2014-18 despite falling numbers of pubs
              • Slow growth expected for 2019-23
                • Figure 1: Forecast of total UK pub industry revenues, 2013-23
              • Weather extremes of 2018 impact the pub sector
                • Rising costs for the pub industry
                  • Companies and brands
                    • Sales growth for both managed and tenanted/leased sectors in 2018
                      • Experiential activities and new technology boost leading pub companies
                        • Pub chains diversify their food and drink offering
                          • Pub companies continue with ethical initiatives
                            • The consumer
                              • Nine in 10 adults visit pubs or bars
                                • Figure 2: Pub/bar/nightclub visiting, by time of day, March 2019
                              • Comforts of home trump pubs/bars for half of non-/infrequent visitors
                                • Figure 3: Barriers to visiting pubs and bars, March 2019
                              • Pubs lead on informal occasions but lose out for celebrations
                                • Locally-sourced food and drink appeals to many
                                  • Figure 4: Interest in products and services in pubs and bars, March 2019
                                • Recommendations prompt visits
                                  • Figure 5: Behaviours related to pub and bar visiting, March 2019
                                • What we think
                                • Issues and Insights

                                  • Consumers’ price consciousness sets pubs/bars a challenge
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • Locally sourced food and drink appeals to many
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • Technological innovations can bring advantages, but must not overshadow the social aspects of pubs/bars
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Revenues rise over 2014-18 despite falling numbers of pubs
                                                      • Slow growth expected for 2019-23
                                                        • Weather extremes of 2018 impact the pub sector
                                                          • Rising costs for the pub industry
                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                            • Revenues rise over 2013-18 despite falling numbers of pubs
                                                              • Figure 6: UK pub industry market size and forecast, 2013-23
                                                            • Slow growth predicted for 2019-23
                                                              • Further rises in costs are on the cards for the pub industry
                                                                • Alcohol moderation trend to hinder alcoholic drinks sales
                                                                  • Modest growth expected for food and entertainment
                                                                    • Ageing UK population to hamper sales in pubs
                                                                      • Figure 7: Forecast of total UK pub industry revenues, 2013-23
                                                                    • Forecast methodology
                                                                    • Market Segmentation

                                                                      • Pub turnover rises in 2018
                                                                        • Figure 8: Estimated UK pub industry turnover, by segment, 2014-18
                                                                      • Cold weather in early 2018 proves a setback for pubs
                                                                        • Hot summer boosts drinks more than food
                                                                          • Success for pub accommodation and entertainment
                                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                                            • Pub closures continue
                                                                              • Rural pubs get government funding to run extra services
                                                                                • Rising costs for the pub industry
                                                                                  • Alcohol duties freeze offers relief to the pub industry
                                                                                    • Business tax rates rise in 2019
                                                                                      • Government re-evaluates pubs’ rateable value
                                                                                        • Rise in the Living Wage raises staff costs for pubs
                                                                                          • Future state of the economy is crucial for the pub sector
                                                                                            • Multiple uncertainties continue to surround Brexit
                                                                                              • Ageing UK population offers little support for pubs
                                                                                                • Alcohol moderation trend sets challenge for pubs
                                                                                                  • Weather extremes of 2018 prove a problem and a benefit for pubs
                                                                                                    • Figure 9: Sunshine hours in the UK, by month, 2013-18
                                                                                                  • CO2 shortage does little to dampen pub drinks sales
                                                                                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                    • Sales growth for both managed and tenanted/leased sectors in 2018
                                                                                                      • Experiential activities and new technology boost leading pub companies
                                                                                                        • Pub chains diversify their food and drink offering
                                                                                                          • Pub companies continue with ethical initiatives
                                                                                                          • Performance of Selected Leading Companies

                                                                                                            • Sales growth for both managed and tenanted/leased pubs in 2018
                                                                                                              • Some operators grow sales despite reduced outlet numbers
                                                                                                                • Figure 10: Turnover of selected leading managed pub operators in the UK, 2013/14-2017/18
                                                                                                                • Figure 11: Turnover of selected leading managed pub operators in the UK, 2013/14-2017/18
                                                                                                              • Number of tenanted/leased pubs falls in 2018
                                                                                                                • Figure 12: Selected leading pub operators in the UK, by outlet numbers, 2014-18
                                                                                                              • Increased experiential activities boost Ei Group
                                                                                                                • Figure 13: Key financial data for Ei Group (formerly Enterprise Inns), 2014-18
                                                                                                              • Greene King receives value sales boost from the craft trend
                                                                                                                • Figure 14: Key financial data for Greene King, 2014-18
                                                                                                              • JD Wetherspoon credits ordering app for sales growth
                                                                                                                • Figure 15: Key financial data for JD Wetherspoon, 2014-18
                                                                                                              • Mixed results for Mitchells & Butlers brands
                                                                                                                • Figure 16: Key financial data for Mitchells and Butlers, 2014-18
                                                                                                              • Punch Taverns returns to profits
                                                                                                                • Figure 17: Key financial data for Punch Taverns, 2014-18
                                                                                                            • Recent Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                • Pub chains expand their drinks ranges
                                                                                                                  • JD Wetherspoon continues to support craft spirits…
                                                                                                                    • ….and moves to replace European alcohol brands with non-EU alternatives
                                                                                                                      • Greene King introduces kombucha in its London pubs
                                                                                                                        • Ei Group supports low-/no-alcohol beers in January promotion
                                                                                                                          • Pub chains and independents continue with ethical initiatives
                                                                                                                            • Greene King looks to address food waste with new app…
                                                                                                                              • …and links with Royal British Legion to mark the First World War centenary
                                                                                                                                • Pub chains take action on plastic straws
                                                                                                                                  • Various pubs link with craft brewery to support homelessness charities
                                                                                                                                    • Wetherspoon targets students with discount voucher books
                                                                                                                                      • Samuel Smith’s imposes mobile phone ban
                                                                                                                                        • Pubs expand their vegan offering
                                                                                                                                          • Added vegetables trend extends into the pub sector
                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                            • Nine in 10 adults visit pubs or bars
                                                                                                                                              • Comforts of home trump pubs/bars for half of non-/infrequent visitors
                                                                                                                                                • Pubs lead on informal occasions but lose out for celebrations
                                                                                                                                                  • Locally-sourced food and drink appeals to many
                                                                                                                                                    • Recommendations prompt visits
                                                                                                                                                    • Frequency of Visiting Pubs and Bars

                                                                                                                                                      • Nine in 10 adults visit pubs or bars
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 18: Pub/bar/nightclub visiting, by time of day, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Pub visiting frequency is linked with financial health
                                                                                                                                                        • Men drink at pubs more often than women
                                                                                                                                                          • Most people visit pubs/bars only occasionally
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 19: Frequency of visiting pubs/bars, by time of day, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                          • 18-34s are the core pub/bar visitors
                                                                                                                                                          • Barriers to Visiting Pubs and Bars

                                                                                                                                                            • Comforts of home are more compelling for half of non-/infrequent pub/bar visitors
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Barriers to visiting pubs and bars, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                            • Link-ups with home delivery and streaming services should benefit pub/bar operators
                                                                                                                                                              • Noise levels in pubs are a major reason for people preferring to stay at home
                                                                                                                                                                • ‘Quiet zones’ appeal strongly to those who find pubs too noisy
                                                                                                                                                                  • Price considerations deter four in 10
                                                                                                                                                                    • Venue-exclusive drinks can help pubs to better compete with retail
                                                                                                                                                                      • Regularly rotating drinks lists should appeal especially to younger people
                                                                                                                                                                      • On-trade Venues Favoured for Particular Occasions

                                                                                                                                                                        • Pubs are the go-to venue for drinks at all times of the week
                                                                                                                                                                          • More people choose pubs for drinks at weekends than weekdays
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 21: On-trade venues favoured for particular occasions, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                          • Pubs lead when people want to relax
                                                                                                                                                                            • Pubs lag behind restaurants for celebrations
                                                                                                                                                                              • Pubs are the top choice for taking advantage of good weather
                                                                                                                                                                                • Need to remind people of pubs’/bars’ suitability for all weather conditions
                                                                                                                                                                                • Interest in Products and Services in Pubs and Bars

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Locally-sourced food and drink appeals to just under half of patrons
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Local sourcing can help to strengthen pubs’ image as supporting the local economy
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Local sourcing can tempt people willing to go further afield
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Interest in products and services in pubs and bars, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Trendy food and drink appeal especially to under-35s…
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Sourcing ingredients for trendy dishes locally should boost appeal
                                                                                                                                                                                          • …as do in-house alcoholic drinks
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Interactive elements should help to build consumer engagement
                                                                                                                                                                                              • In-house drinks team up well with locally-sourced food/drink
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Technological innovations appeal particularly to under-35s and parents
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ordering apps offer advantages to both venues and customers…
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • …but pubs and bars must not neglect the social aspects
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Foodservice sector offers potential cues on computers in venues
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Behaviours Related to Pub and Bar Visiting

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Recommendations prompt visits…
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …and should be well-placed to persuade people to venture out of their local area
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Behaviours related to pub and bar visiting, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Discount vouchers and shared knowledge marketing messages should help to incentivise recommendations
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Six in 10 stick to the same brands in pubs and bars
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Use staff recommendations to drive trial and add value
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Look to harness the power of peer recommendations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Sampling opportunities should appeal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Opinions are divided on whether independent establishments offer better quality than pub chains
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Younger people are especially likely to rate the quality of independent pubs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Focus on provenance should benefit both larger and smaller establishments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Price is a major influence on choice of pub
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Local sourcing can help to appeal to those who are not influenced by price
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Forecast of total UK pub industry revenues, 2018-23

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pub Visiting - UK - May 2019

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