Summer festivals offer £100m booze opportunity

Summer festivals in the UK have become one of the most lucrative opportunities for drinks suppliers, with music-lovers spending more than £100 million on booze, new analysis has found.

According to data from research company CGA, around 7.4 million people have been to one of the UK’s summer music festivals in the last three years, with around a third (33%) planning further festival visits.

The total spend is set to reach £200 million, CGA’s Your Future in Festivals report, with each person attending spending an average of £32.27 on drinks, compared to £23.71 on food.

Typical attendees were also found to have a higher than average annual income, it said, as well as a higher than average spend on eating and drinking, and be more likely to go out drinking on a weekly basis than the average consumer.

Jonny Jones, CGA’s director of client services argued that although people attended relatively few festivals each year, when they did go, they wanted to enjoy themselves, regardless of cost, and were open to experimentation.

“A penchant for quality in both drink and the way drinks are served sees 65% of festival-goers surveyed likely to upgrade their drink purchases to more premium products, although many attendees say the provision of food and drink at festivals could be improved,” he said.

“They are also a particularly experimental audience, with 51% having tried new drinks when they attend festivals and 37% saying they are very likely to purchase those new drinks in shops or normal pubs and bars afterwards.”

As a result, more suppliers are getting involved with the ‘experience economy’, with nine out of ten suppliers having invested in at least one ‘experience-led’ event in the last year, CGA said, including food & drink or music festivals.

“The quality of the experience and ambience offered to festival-goers provides the perfect environment for suppliers to grow advocacy and improve equity in their brands,” he said.

“Failure to take advantage of festivals by not understanding consumer demand in the third space setting could lead drinks suppliers to miss out on key opportunities for growth.”

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