In a survey, in which 10,000 young people were asked if they had drunk alcohol in the past week, a staggering 50% hadn't, that's up from 35% in 2005. So now, 16-24 year olds are the second biggest group of abstainers, after the elderly. This must be music to the ears of health campaigners and the NHS! Not such good news if you're a pub landlord, off-licence owner or any kind of alcoholic drink producer, you might wonder. The knock-on effect must be that youngsters are simply not going on a night out solely to drink together. We already know that the younger generations, dubbed millennials, are motivated by experiences, which are entertaining, novel and add to their own story.
Previously, we've already seen the trend for low or no-alcohol beers, wines and spirits gathering pace in an effort to keep step with this evolution in consumer drinking habits. Surely now, pub and bar retailers have to get seriously creative to entice the younger generations back into the pub environment for a cheeky half or three. It's not just about your drink offer, it's also about how you can add value to a night out at the pub. As many of the older, past generations of pub goers did, perhaps it's time to get the tried and tested analogue pub games out, mix it up with a few new ones (don't forget they like new experiences!) and bring the quizmaster back, only this time a younger, leaner version who is partial to a diet coke!
Clare Pope, always has her head in a book - current read The Exiles Return by Elisabeth de Waal