While afternoon tea forms a major part of most hotels' food and beverage offering and is becoming more common in many restaurants and cafes, it is yet to be widely adopted by the pub sector, said Richard Caines, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel.
According to research for the company's Pub Catering Report, just 9 per cent of Brits have visited pubs for afternoon tea or coffee and cake compared to 29 per cent who have just visited for a hot drink.
Caines said the fact that pubs weren't developing or marketing an 'afternoon tea' offering was 'no doubt a key factor in low usage of afternoon teas compared with hot drinks only'.
"This nonetheless suggests scope for more pubs to build revenues by encouraging people to have something with their hot drink," he said. "Making items like cakes, biscuits or sweet pastries visible at the bar during the quieter afternoon period should offer a very tangible reminder and proof of the quality of their offering.”
Other research by Mintel, released for Afternoon Tea Week 2016, found that when it comes to teas, younger consumers are more likely to seek a varied choice than older ones.
Brits aged 25 to 34 are twice as likely to drink speciality teas compared to those over the age of 55 with 50 per cent of them drinking speciality black tea compared to 26 per cent of over 55s. Forty-nine per cent of 25 to 34 year-olds drink green tea compared to 22 per cent of over 55s and 48 per cent drink fruit teas compared to 28 per cent of over 55s.
"Tea brands need to increase the appeal of their products to 16 to 34 year olds who drink standard black tea less frequently. One way of encouraging more tea drinking among younger consumers is with more choice of flavours and indulgent varieties," said Caines.