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Consumers remain value-conscious when dining out

Published:  09 October, 2023

In its latest research project, Lumina Intelligence, a leader in food and drinks insights, has found that consumers remain cautious about discretionary spending in the on-trade.

Despite a slight increase in on-trade footfall, frequency has remained flat with consumers becoming more selective about the occasions they choose to dine out.

The Bank of England's continual interest rate hikes are impacting rents and mortgages, causing consumers to cut back on eating and drinking out. However, inflation is easing year on year providing a tentative boost of optimism, resulting in a 6% footfall growth in the UK on-trade, year-to-date.

Share of dinner occasions also grew year on year, although consumers opted for value-led channels including pubs, bars & quick and service restaurants (QSR), which both gained a +1% share respectively, whereas restaurant share in the UK slipped by 0.6%.

Meanwhile, drink-only occasions are up by more than 4%, with consumers opting for both pubs & bars and retail channels for this occasion. 

This has coincided with a sharp drop in Britain's nightclubs, according to new research from CGA by NIQ. Since March 2020, there has been a 30% net drop in nightclubs, which has contributed to a diversification in the late-night market. 

Karl Chessell, CGA by NIQ's director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said: “Covid-19 hit nightclubs harder than any other licensed sector, and lockdowns were the final straw for hundreds of venues. But our research shows the late-night market isn't disappearing – it's just changing. Bars, pubs, competitive socialising venues and other new leisure concepts all now rival nightclubs, giving consumers a greater choice of venues than ever. Young adults remain eager for big nights out with their friends, and while clubs are still a part of their mix they are also open to alternatives that deliver memorable social experiences and good value.”