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Half of Britons think that alcohol in pubs is too expensive

12 September 2014

Over half of UK adults (51%) think that drinking in pubs, bars and clubs is too expensive, with many preferring to have their drinks at home. A way to lure customers back in are special offers and craft beer, a new Canadean survey  finds. 

According to the survey, the cost of on-trade alcoholic beverages is deterring more than half of consumers (51%) in the UK from drinking outside their homes. This is true for everyone - regardless of their socio-economic circumstances, gender, age, and geographical location. Almost 47% of the respondents agree or strongly agree that they would be more likely to go out and drink if the general price of alcohol in pubs, bars, and clubs was reduced, while a third of consumers agree or strongly agree that a reduction in the price of spirits would make them more inclined to venture out. One in five UK consumers would be more likely to drink out of home if ‘there were more drinks offers’. All of this is felt most by those aged 18 to 24, as 55% say that cheaper on-trade alcohol would make them more likely to go out, compared to an average of 24%. 

From alcopops to craft beer  

Canadean’s research further highlights that there is a shift in the purchasing behaviours of consumers when it comes to buying alcoholic drinks in licensed establishments. Only 7% of respondents suggest a wider range of alcopops or a wider range of cocktails would make them more likely to drink out of home, while 15% of respondents agree or strongly agree that speciality beers, such as craft and artisan or seasonal beers, would give them a reason to drink out more.

According to Canadean this is a sign of two diverging market trends: the decline of alcopops and the rise of specialised craft beers. Thomas Delaney, analyst at Canadean, says: “The generation of 18 to 30-year-olds who were first wooed by alcopops have moved on to wines and real ales, while the younger consumers of today prefer premium tipples such as spirits with mixers, spirit beers and flavoured ciders.” The Beer Report 2014, published by the Society of Independent Brewers, finds that volume sales of local beer grew by an estimated 8% in 2013 to 1.55 million barrels – which translates to nearly 33 million more pints of local beer consumed in 2014 than in 2012. Delaney adds: “In the wake of a global recession consumers have remained price conscious. Artisan and craft beers are ideal for consumers who are looking for products that offer great value for money plus high-end indulgence.”  

Craft Beer

Survey respondents indicate that a selection of specialty beers such as craft beers would make them more likely to go out for drinks.


All numbers used in this text are based on a recent Canadean consumer survey of 2,000 UK-based adults. This survey was conducted in August 2014. 

Please get in contact if you have any questions to this or other Canadean data. Analysts are available to comment. Contact the Canadean press office on +44 (0) 20 3096 5768 or email

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