Authenticity and quality are key to increasing consumer spend at the bar, helping a venue stand out from the competition and ensuring customers return, says Marston’s in its latest On Trade Beer Report.

It advises educating both staff and drinkers on the ingredients that go into the beer range through menus or POS.

Consumer knowledge of imported versus UK-brewed beers is minimal so it recommends communicating the brewing origin of the beer to appeal to the younger, more discerning consumers and to drive higher pricing.

“The authentic nature of German and Belgian lagers will appeal to the more affluent consumer,” said Marston’s.

Other key findings are the need to understand that ale drinkers are more experimental while lager drinks are more brand loyal.

Premiumisation is dramatically impacting the beer category and with increasing concern about health and wellbeing, drinkers prefer lower-strength beers in the afternoon and find them easier to drink, it found.

On-trade drinkers have consumed 66.5m fewer pints of beer than they did last year, but have spent £177.8m more, the report revealed.

It advises capitalising on this by offering a wider beer range alongside extra offers, such as food.

The report also identified the opportunity for a pricing ladder, allowing operators to deliver fair prices and enabling consumers to take control of when they premiumise their drinks choice.

Louise Fleming, head of consumer marketing at Marston’s, said: “Providing the correct range is key to increase sales and with more drinkers now wanting to be able to experiment, getting the balance between choice and quality is essential.

“It is important to understand how lifestyle trends will affect the future of innovation in beer, bringing the consumer into the heart of everything we do.”