Welcoming news for food and drink businesses as Deloitte claims ‘consumers prioritise leisure spending’

07/02/2018 - 08:39
Deloitte’s latest Leisure Consumer report reveals that spending was up for eating and drinking out businesses in the last quarter of 2017, with takeaways and drinking in pubs and bars up eight and six percentage points respectively on Q3 .

Claiming “UK consumers were less constrained in their leisure spending in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the previous year,” Deloitte’s survey of 3,000+ adults found that consumer spending increased year-on-year in 7 of the 11 leisure categories monitored.

While drinking in pubs and bars saw spending rise year-on-year by one-percentage point, drinking in coffee shops and eating out both suffered from a year-on-year decline – down three and two percentage points.

Comparing Q4 to Q3, in-home leisure spending, including takeaways, increased by eight percentage points “as consumers chose to spend more time at home in the run up to Christmas,” and drinking in pubs and bars increased by six percentage points, which is expected “to remain unchanged” in coming months.

Simon Oaten, partner for hospitality and leisure at Deloitte, said: “These findings paint a positive picture for the leisure sector, which ended 2017 on a high as consumers continued to seek out experience-based activities.

“The increase in leisure spending comes against a backdrop of various income pressures that have been squeezing consumer pockets in the last year, including rising inflation and slow wage growth.

“In the year ahead, consumers expect their spending on many habitual leisure activities, such as drinking in pubs and eating out, to remain unchanged…Meals out, drinking in pubs and bars or coffee shops as well as leisure at home appear to be so habitual to consumers that they have less intention to scale back on them in the next three months.”

While respondents remained “broadly optimistic” about their spending in the first three months of 2018, the survey found that millenials (18-34 year olds) are the biggest spenders when it comes to pubs and bars but are conversely avoiding coffee shops and eating out.

Oaten concluded: “Significantly, 18-34-year-old consumers appear to be driving the resurgence in spending in pubs and bars as well as in-home leisure. At the same time, millennials are limiting their spending on eating out and drinking in coffee shops, and as a consequence these categories have seen spending drop-off compared to a year ago.”

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