More than 40% of consumers, around 15 million adults, rate vouchers as very or extremely important when deciding where to go out to eat - and this number is still rising, with women and young people the “most hooked”, according to the latest research from the Peach BrandTrack. The survey, which was carried out among 2,000 adults in February this year, found that 6% of the population were “voucher addicts” using them every time they eat out. The research also found that women use vouchers most, with nearly half (46%) saying vouchers are very or extremely important, compared to just over a third (38%) of men. More than half (55%) of 25 to 34 year-olds give vouchers high importance, compared to just 26% of those aged 65 or over. The study also found that half (51%) of Londoners rate vouchers as very or extremely important, the highest region in the country, with Scotland (33%) ranking the lowest. The survey said that voucher websites were here to stay, with over half (56%) of those questioned using them, with Voucher Codes, Discount Vouchers and GroupOn the most popular. The three brands whose customers are most likely to say vouchers are very or extremely important to their eating-out decisions were Zizzi, ASK and Prezzo. The survey also revealed that one in seven people has increased their use of vouchers over the last six months, compared to just one in 14 who has cut it. However, those increasing their use have tended to eat out more, indicating that vouchers are helping to shore up pubs and restaurants’ footfall in the face of competition from supermarkets, if not necessarily their profit margins. Peach Factory chief executive Peter Martin said: “Operators want to move away from vouchers, but this research shows they have their work cut out. Consumers are now very savvy about their vouchers, and brands will have to be just as smart in their marketing if they are to find other ways of driving sales. “Voucher culture is in engrained, and it is not just about finding savings. Hunting down the best deal is a way of life for many. The people using them are not hard-up pensioners but more likely tech-savvy, educated under-35s.”