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Pubs and bars lose 611,000 regulars in two years

Published:  15 September, 2017

While consumers seem to be increasingly willing to head out for coffee, new figures show the number of Brits who are trading pubs and bars for the sofa as their favour place to kick back with a glass of alcohol.

New trend-focused research from Touchpoints seeks to outline the full extent of drinking habits of UK consumers.

According to the figures, in 2017, 52% of adults (26.6 million) now drink at home at least once a week.

While this has only increased by 1% point over two years, up from 51% of the population in 2015 (26 million people), it’s a good indicator of where those 611,000 pub attendees might have gone.

By contrast, the percentage of UK adults going to a pub or bar at least once a week or more now stands at only 18% (3.6 million people), down from 28% in 2005.

The drop is more acute with 18 to 24 year-olds.

In 2005, going to the pub or a bar was particularly popular among this age group, with 45% going once a week or more often.

In 2017, the percentage has fallen to 21%.

Again, this is in contrast to +6% YOY rise in the number of British consumers who head to a coffee shop once a week or more, which equated to 9.9 million people in 2016.

The data, which tracked the habits of 6000 UK adults aged 15+ over the course of seven days, also showed the impact of changing consumer habits on retail.

The smoking ban, a move towards healthier lifestyles and various economic factors such as static wages and the devaluation of the pound have all contributed to dwindling pub figures.

But consumers flocking to supermarkets for cheaper alcohol doesn’t paint a full picture.

The research suggests that nowadays, 65% of Brits shop in a large supermarket every week – a decline of 7% (2.5 million) since 2014.

Other findings suggest this could provide a windfall for independents.

Of those surveyed, 55% agreed they “try to buy local produce whenever I can” and 40% agreed “it is important for me to know how the products and services I buy are sourced and made”.