A new report has urged pub operators not to focus on the catch-all “millennial” customer base but to break down this demographic into key age brackets and identify how they use pubs.
The third Carlsberg Consumer Insights Report suggested that the UK’s 14 million millennials should be divided into 18-25 year olds, who are very price driven yet have higher expectations of the service they will receive; and 26-35 year olds, the least price sensitive of all generations when dining out and buying drinks but more engaged with the role their local pub could play.
The report highlighted the increasing importance of experiences – particularly if they offer ‘shareable’ moments on social media – with interest strong throughout the week, including Sundays, which have been traditionally quiet days for wet-led pubs. When asked what kinds of experiences or offerings would interest them, more than 70% of consumers said pubs opening early/offering a breakfast menu, with coffee mornings and community meetings voted for by more than 60%, and cocktail classes and the use of the pub as a workspace, and for business meetings, of interest to more than 50%.
Food and beer matching also came out as a draw, with half of consumers interested in recommendations for the perfect brew to pair with their food choice, rising to 67% amongst 26-35 year olds.
The trend for healthy living also continues to grow with almost 50% of the population actively moderating their alcohol consumption in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, said the report - in fact 26-35 year olds are more likely to visit the gym that the pub.
The report found that although the frequency of visits to pubs has declined, with 29% of consumer visiting on a weekly basis, compared with 34% last year, average spend in pubs was up 3% in the past 12 months, to £7.75 average spend per head, as consumers opt for premium choices, experiences and serves when they do visit.
Alistair Gaunt, VP national sales at Carlsberg UK, said the pub remained the number one consumer choice for out-of-home occasions, but that it was important to note the needs of different consumer groups and how they are defined.