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Weekly Newsletter from PROOF Insight

14 July 2023

Duty, Espresso & Tonic, Competitive Socialising.

Research news 

Change in alcohol duty price rises unlikely to deter alcohol buyers

Over half of consumers would be willing to pay the price increase on their usual drink purchase, if the change in alcohol duty is passed on to consumers from August, PROOF research shows. Many alcohol drinkers (66%) are unaware of the changes in alcohol duty coming into effect from August which could make their favourite drink more expensive. However, when shown the possible price increases of different types of alcohol beverages they consume, more chose to go ahead with the purchase than those who would switch to a lower priced product or leave the category completely.

62% of off-trade wine purchasers would spend 44p more to get their favourite wine at its current alcoholic content. When thinking about their favourite spirit, on average 1 in 2 spirits drinkers would be prepared to pay the extra pence at supermarket/shop despite this category seeing some of the highest price increases per bottle. Out of those buying beer and cider at a supermarket/shop, 66% of lager drinkers say they would spend 4p more to get their favourite lager and 57% of apple cider drinkers would be happy to pay 5p more for a bottle of apple cider.

While there is a risk of losing a small percentage of category shoppers if retailers are to pass on price rises as a result of the change in alcohol duty, this is unlikely to have a significant impact on consumer behaviour in the on- and off-trade, outside of the continued pressure on volumes as a result of inflation.  

Sources: PROOF Insight POURTRAITS June 2023

Find out about PROOF’s Duty Research

Industry news 

13% growth in competitive socialising since 2019

Since 2019, participation in competitive socialising has risen by 13%, according to research from Mintel. 71% of consumers say they have partaken in competitive socialising in the past year, including 93% of Gen-Z. Despite willingness to participate, consumers remain cost-conscious – with most refraining from spending over £20 on an activity. With consumer budgets squeezed and competition growing in the space, operators need to provide an affordable experience for consumers.

Sources: Mintel, Propel

Economic pressures continue to impact businesses and consumers

In the three months to May, wages were at the highest level since records began in 2001, up +7.3%. Inflation continues to drive the real value of wages down with the consumer prices index measuring inflation at around 8.7%. Mortgage rates are at the highest level since August 2008, the sterling is also at its highest level against the dollar in the past 15 months. Consumers are already having to make cutbacks in their lifestyle, 24% say their spend on alcohol decreased in the three months to May 2023.

Sources: ONS, BBC

Strange brews & news 

Wake up to Espresso & Tonic…

Espresso & Tonic is the latest mixed drink to piggyback on the Espresso Martini and iced-coffee trends of recent years. To save you the time, the PROOF team taste-tested the concoction – reviews were mixed, it made for a bitter concoction so may only hold appeal to those who enjoy bitter drinks like Negroni. Just be careful with the pour… your drink may end up with bit too much head.

Sources: Mashed.com

Investments, acquisition & openings 

  • Co-founder of Corbin & King, Jeremy King, announces plan to open a restaurant in Hyde Park called “The Park”
  • Pub People Company boosts investment into its existing businesses and accelerates expansion plans
  • The Zero Carbon Forum launches Marketplace, a services directory designed to connect supply chain businesses with hospitality businesses to help them reach net zero
  • Speciality Drinks launches monthly educational series, Speciality Sessions, to educate bar teams about their products
  • Lyre’s, the non-alcoholic spirits producer, raises nearly £18m to fund expansion plans
  • Alan Lau, founder of Wagamama, announces plans to open a restaurant and retail concept selling plant-based ramen

Sources: Propel, The Spirits Business, RestaurantOnline

Product launches & campaigns

  • Shakespeare Distillery launches Kaffir Lime & Orange Gin in time for the summer period
  • Gipsy Hill, based in South London, states it has launched the first ever carbon negative beers, Swell Lager and Trail Ale
  • Gary Barlow releases an Organic Sauvignon Blanc and Blush wine
  • Hive Mind Mead and Brew Co collaborated to launch Nectar, a Pilsner style beer with British honey
  • NICE, a canned wine start-up, releases its first sparkling wine
  • Wine brand, Jam Shed, launches ‘Jamgria’ cocktail kit to help operators tap into the growing trend for wine cocktails
  • Yolk, the ‘Fine Fast Food’ brand, launches a fundraising campaign to help increase its number of sites

Sources: The Spirits Business, The Drinks Business, RestaurantOnline

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Heverlee 0623
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