Surge in support for British pubs

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BRITISH PUBS have been declared in excellent health by a leading research firm.

Data released this week by Mintel found that sales of alcoholic drinks and meals in pubs has grown by 6% and 14% respectively, while soft drink sales rose by 7% in 2012-16.

Publicans will undoubtedly welcome the £7.4 billion boost brought from food. The numbers challenge the presumption that punters had abandoned British pubs in recent years because of the increased emphasis on meal and music-friendly environments.

British pub fayre has also been met with approval for its quality. Over three in five (63%) are prepared to pay over £10 for dinner at a pub (excluding drinks) and 18% are happy to spend between £15-£19.99. 10% of customers are comfortable paying between £20 – 24.99 and 8% prepared to pay over £25.

23% of consumers also said they had visited a pub in the past month because of the high quality of food on offer, rising to 30% in 2017.

The survey confirms a subtle shift in drinking habits among British people, with nine in 10 (89%) Britsish people saying they typically visit a pub or bar to eat, compared to eight in 10 (79%) who go to drink in these venues.

In 2016, alcoholic drinks made up half of the UK pub industry’s turnover, compared to 31% brought in by food. Overall, industry turnover grew by an estimated 8% in 2012-16 to reach £23.5 billion.

Richard Caines, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, said:

“Pubs that generate a higher proportion of sales from food and, as a result, attract a wider audience have generally performed more strongly than drink-led pubs. ”

If there’s dark cloud, however, it might be that a majority of 65% of people would like more pubs to have quiet areas free from music and TV.

However, the evidence points to a resurgence in pub culture which has suffered a sharp decline in recent years.

According to the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), there were 52,750 pubs at the end of last 2015, down from 54,194 in December 2014.

The organisation reported that pub closure rates are slowing – with the total number of pubs closing per week falling from 27 to 21 in the last six months.

CAMRA has encouraged the public to continue supporting their local pubs to ensure pub closures continue to fall.

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