Shift in drinkers

Cocktails rise, ales fall in Wetherspoon age split

Cocktails are a big seller at Wetherspoon pubs

Young drinkers have been pouring into pubs while older customers stay away, according to data from pubs chain Wetherspoon.

The company said during the last quarter there has been a “considerable increase” in sales of the range of drinks often consumed by younger customers, such as cocktails (+45%), vodka (+17%) and rum (+26%).

In contrast, draught products, more often consumed by older customers, have been under pressure, with traditional ales down by 30% and stout down by 20%.

The figures were seen to reflect the more cautious approach to socialising among the older generation.

Like-for-like sales across the group for the 15 weeks to 7 November were 8.9% lower than the record sales achieved in the same period in 2019.

The company’s pubs which trade under the ‘Lloyds’ banner, with music, mostly at the weekends, were up 0.5%, “probably reflecting a higher percentage of younger customers”.

Chairman Tim Martin said: “There have been no outbreaks of Covid-19, as defined by the health authorities, among customers in Wetherspoon pubs.

“However, some customers have been understandably cautious. Improvement in trade will therefore depend, to some extent, on the outlook for the Covid-19 virus.”

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