The figures in M&C Allegra Foodservice's EatingOut Panel Q3 2015 Report buck the trend of overall decline in alcohol consumption while figures reveal that drinking soft drinks at lunchtime is also in decline.
The results, which are compiled from over 18,000 in-depth online interviews each quarter, along with continuous surveys, show that beer and cider sales account for eight per cent of the total number of drinks consumed at lunchtime across the hospitality industry, up from seven per cent year-on-year. Wine consumption has increased one per cent to five per cent.
Cola consumption fell from 10 per cent to nine per cent and fruit juice consumption dropped two per cent to four per cent.
Overall, alcoholic drinks accounted for 14 per cent of lunchtime sales, a year-on-year increase of two per cent, compared to a three per cent fall for soft drinks and tap water to 51 per cent. Hot drinks maintained its position with 34.6 per cent of the total sales with coffee remaining the most popular choice.
Results of the panel showed that it was chain restaurants that were driving the lunchtime alcohol sales with a six per cent rise year-on-year.
Gareth Nash, head of consumer insight at M&C Allegra Foodservice, said: “Alcohol consumption has been falling for quite some time now so the figures from M&C Allegra Foodservice’s latest Eating Out Report will be welcome news for the on-trade. There are opportunities for alcohol to benefit from the growing eating out market and we are seeing that coming through most clearly at lunchtime.
“What’s interesting is that the growth isn’t just in wine but beer and cider. It seems that the recent resurgence in cider and the growing interest in craft beer have given that segment a lift. You are seeing operators making a much conscious effort recently to match food with beers and ciders, as well as wine, and clearly that is paying off."