Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

UK consumers are drinking less despite surging sales, new survey shows

Published:  04 May, 2020

Consumers are shunning alcoholic drinks during the Covid-19 crisis, the latest BrandTrack survey from CGA has found.

While 17% of those who usually drink alcohol are drinking more during lockdown, 37% are either drinking less or have have cut out alcohol completely.

The same polarised trends are evident among regular pub and bar-goers, with 20% increasing consumption but 45% reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption.

As Harpers reported last week, online sales in the BWS category have rose 78% through April.

For those drinking at home, wine is the most popular choice. However 11% of those who drink wine in the on-trade are not drinking it at home during lockdown.

In good news for the hospitality sector, some 33% of consumers say that they have supported or plan to support local hospitality businesses during the crisis.

Of these, 36% have been using takeaway food or delivery services, 30% have purchased vouchers from local venues to use when the lockdown has lifted, while 20% had donated to online initiatives, such as buying a ‘virtual pint’.

Looking ahead, 75% of consumers would be more willing to purchase a product from a brand that behaved ethically or morally during the crisis.

Commenting on the survey, John Timothy, chief executive of the Portman Group, said: “This is the latest of a number of surveys showing that the vast majority of Brits in lockdown are drinking the same or less than before.

“It is also encouraging to see so many people taking steps such as buying a ‘virtual pint’ to support local businesses at a time of great difficulty for those working in the UK hospitality sector.

The fact that 17% of people have increased their drinking should not be overlooked; it is critical we understand who is drinking more and by how much.”

The CGA BrandTrack survey collates reponses from 5,000 adult British consumers.

Last week, new research by CGA revealed that securing a time out on rent was a key priority for Britain’s pubs, bars and restaurants as cashflow concerns top their agendas.