The frequency of visits to On Premise venues has remained positive and consistent across the past six waves, according to CGA by NIQ’s On Premise Impact Report. Accordingly, almost two in five consumers have increased the frequency of their visits in the past three months, while almost half have maintained their usual frequency, with just one in five visiting less frequently.
While the overall outlook is stable, cost of living remains a major factor for notable proportions of consumers who are cutting back on going out and the quantity they’re drinking when out. This is clear among the one in five consumers spending less, whose reasons include budget-saving, reduced income, and other priorities. On the other hand, for the one in four spending more, pricier food and drinks in venues are the main drivers.
Student loan repayments represent a further challenge in the final part of the year. Approximately a quarter of On Premise visitors are affected by the restart of student loan repayments on Oct. 1, rising to 50% for 21-34 year olds. Among this group, two thirds anticipate a negative impact on their disposable income, with a similar ratio expecting to visit the On Premise less frequently.
Yet in spite of ongoing cost of living concerns, upcoming sporting events and annual calendar celebrations are exceptional chances for brands and operators to maximize sales with targeted campaigns and promotions.
First up is NFL Week 1, which 14% of consumers plan to watch in bars and restaurants. Three in five consumers plan to drink beer, while soft drinks are the most popular non-alcoholic option.
What’s more, over three in five of these football fans intend to take part in sports betting during live NFL Week 1 games. It’s a prime time for suppliers to tap into this behavior while consumers are in venues, watching and betting on games, and potentially staying longer and spending more as a result.
Furthermore, over a third of consumers plan to visit the On Premise to celebrate Labor Day, primarily with beer as their first choice of drink, followed by spirits and wine. Sports bars, independently owned restaurants and casual dining chains are the top channels for this occasion, with early evening and happy hour representing the greatest potential for engagement.
Matthew Crompton, regional director – North America said: “Overall, the Report underlines the key role the On Premise continues to play in the lives of so many. So, suppliers can engineer a highly satisfactory closing season of 2023 by specifically doubling down into its strengths and weaknesses. For example, brands need to consider how to ensure continued engagement among consumers groups who are visiting value led venues and changing their consumption habits in the On Premise. And with early evenings and happy hours the most popular dayparts, suppliers and operators can capitalize on this through involvement in strategic promotions.”