Alcohol-related disorder on the streets could be driving UK consumers away from pubs and bars and into the supermarkets, according to a new report from Datamonitor.
UK consumers are increasingly opting to stay at home and drink rather than risk becoming involved in drink-related violence, says the report, Escaping the Discount Trap in the Off-Trade.
The much-publicised binge-drinking culture is influencing the declining appeal of the on-trade, with consumers feeling protected from its negative effects when drinking in their own homes, the report suggests.
Competitive pricing and the extensive choice offered by UK supermarkets have also helped fuel the growth in at-home drinking, as has consumers' increasing investment in entertainment media for the home.
Total spending on at-home alcoholic drinks is expected to rise by 15% from £10.8b in 2005 to £12.3b by 2010. Consumption is set to increase from 270.1 million litres of pure alcohol in 2005 to 294.1 million in 2010.
Consumption of alcohol at home stands at 5.7 litres per year per person, against 5.3 litres in the on-trade. Women in particular are downing more drink at home, with a 25% increase in consumption.
Matthew Adams, consumer market analyst and author of the study, said: "Drinking at home leaves women free to enjoy the experience of social bonding with friends but in an environment where they can relax and not worry about safety or social norms."
Datamonitor forecasts the consumption of alcoholic drinks at home by UK women will grow from just under 100 million litres of pure alcohol in 2005 to 124 million in 2010.
By Matthew Batham