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Consumers avoiding pubs and restaurants as recession fears grow

16 April 2009 by

The majority of UK consumers are cutting down on visits to pubs and restaurants due to fear of the recession, research revealed today.

In a survey of more than 2,000 consumers, by research firm Mintel, 66% said they would spend less on going out to restaurants because of the economic climate, while 59% said they are already cutting back on trips to the pub.

The British Lifestyles survey revealed that consumers are instead choosing to splash out large sums of money on alcohol to drink at home. Today, the average British household spends £30 per week on alcohol, amounting to as much as a bottle of wine per night per household, Mintel said.

But the research also shows that while the economic climate is forcing consumers to make some eating out cut backs, the demand for pub meals is holding up.

More than half of the respondents said they had eaten a meal in a pub or bar over the last three months. Pub and bar meals is the largest market within the eating out sector with sales of £7.6b, Mintel said.

James McCoy, head of consumer research at Mintel, said the report highlights how fear alone can cause major spending adjustments.

"A significant three in ten adults have cut back on their spending not because they have to, but mainly through fear of how the recession might affect them. These adults haven't been personally affected by the recession, although they may know someone who has," he said.

"It's important to remember that a lot of consumers are cutting back not because they have to, but because it's seen as the right thing to do. Nobody wants to be seen as being too flash in a troubled economy," he added.

Restaurants suffer as slump hits Europe >>

Consumers to cut back on eating out during credit crunch >>

Recession prompts 75% of British families to eat at home >>

January takings drop at 60% of London restaurants >>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.

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