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Consumers keep hands out of their pockets

The on-trade could be hit hard by continued consumer caution and cutbacks in spending, according to a new report.

Commissioned by the WSTA for their quarterly market report, the poll by YouGov appeared to show that over the next 12 months consumers were more likely to cut down on nights out in a bid to save money.

Of the 2,000 people polled, 46% said that going out for meals would be less of a priority over the coming year and 34% said they would cut down on going out for a drink.

Only 20% said they would cut back on spending for their satellite TV subscription and a mere 18% said they did not expect to cut back on their spending at all.

In the breakdown, women in particular were seeking to save money with 50% of those polled saying they would be cutting back on going out to eat. Even 50% of 25-34 year-olds said they too would be looking at eating out less to save pennies.

Further figures gathered by Nielsen for the report found that volume sales in the on-trade had declined across all categories and that there had been a value decline across all categories except lager and cider.

Champagne in particular did badly in the on-trade with a value drop of 21.6%. The sparkling wine category as a whole, Champagne included, was down 17.6% in value.

Conversely, the off-trade showed volume and value growth across all categories except fortified wines and there was lower volume growth for ale too, although its value was up.

In complete contrast to the on-trade, the most successful categories in the off-trade were sparkling wines – up 11.2%; cider – up 10.3%; and Champagne – up 9.5%.

WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles said: “The signs are that consumers remain cautious about their spending and will look to cut back on going out if necessary. However businesses that get the offer right are still doing well.”

“Behind the headlines there are clearly opportunities for growth. For example, golden rum sales in the on-trade are up in value by over 18% during the past year and sparkling wines are up over 11% in value in the off-trade.”

Rupert Millar, 22.09.2010

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