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

Young consumers set to embrace Christmas trading

Published:  02 November, 2021

Young adults are set to embrace pubs, bars and restaurants for Christmas celebrations, but older people may be more hesitant about eating and drinking out, new research from CGA has revealed.

CGA’s latest Pulse survey suggests nearly three quarters (71%) of consumers plan to visit the on premise over the festive period.

People aged 18-to-34 are particularly enthusiastic, with two thirds (69%) of those who will be going out planning to visit at least as often as they did over Christmas 2019. This is more than twice the number who plan to visit less (31%), the research added.

This forward momentum will likely be music to the ears of operators who will be looking to make up for lost time from last Christmas, where festivities were severely dampened by restrictions and social distancing measures. According to CGA however, people in the older demographics were “less bullish” about celebrating this year.

The rising number of Covid cases and lack of confidence due to the pandemic means that venues will still need to demonstrate they can offer a safe experience. Over a third (38%) of those aged 55 or over said they would not be visiting the on-trade at all. Of those in the demographic who do plan to go out, nearly half (45%) will do so less often than they did in 2019.

Despite the concerns of older clientele, the Pulse data suggests that pubs, bars and restaurants will be popular places for people to reconnect this Christmas.

A third (33%) of consumers intend to celebrate with friends there, and nearly as many (31%) are planning celebrations with family. Around a quarter (26%) plan to have workplace Christmas parties in the on-trade. One in seven (14%) plans to visit on Christmas Day, with similar numbers for Christmas Eve (15%) and Boxing Day (13%).

These figures give us grounds for cautious optimism for strong December trading,” said CGA’s research and insight director Charlie Mitchell.

“After a Christmas washout in 2020, consumers are eager to get back to the kind of festive experiences that only the on premise can provide. However, venues will have to juggle some people’s desire to celebrate with more cautious consumers’ anxieties about safety – all while addressing major challenges around staffing and supply. Venues that pull this off can look forward to a positive end to a very challenging year.”

Last month, the Coffer CGA Business Tracker revealed that managed restaurant, pub and bar groups achieved a ‘significant bounce’ in sales in September. It showed that total sales were 8% up on the pre-pandemic levels of September 2019. They were also 42% higher than in September 2020, when businesses were operating under strict Covid-19 restrictions.