Pubs at the heart of consumer innovation & experimentation

March 24, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

CGA’s Australian Channel Strategy Report, conducted in October 2020, shows that just under a quarter of consumers who have visited pubs weekly say they have been more experimental with their drinks choices, and a quarter have changed the brands they chose to drink—12 percentage points higher than the average On Premise consumer.

The insight highlights consumers’ new emphasis on maximising occasions and treating themselves. Among consumers who have visited pubs weekly since reopening, two in five have chosen more expensive drinks, while more than half (56 per cent) say they are very likely to upgrade their drinks to a higher quality option—10 percentage points higher than before COVID.

For pubs, having the right drinks range in venue is crucial to driving footfall, with 30 per cent of pub consumers choosing a venue based on the quality of the drinks available. Consumers are looking to support ‘local’ products as their first choice for drinks when in pubs, with 43 per cent of consumer citing this as their key purchase motivation. Local does not necessarily have to mean small and independent, instead stocking local and high quality lagers or drinks brands and shouting about this to consumers will not only help meet consumers ethical demands but also help maximise spend in outlets

However, compared to other channels ‘Interesting’ is the consumer drinks choice driver which over-indexes, demonstrating the thirst for experimentation is present in pubs more than in any other channel.

Despite these shifts, beer has remained the most resilient category since the end of lockdown. Only 8 per cent of weekly pub-goers say they have been drinking beer less frequently—significantly lower than those who have cut their purchases of wine (16 per cent) and spirits (15 per cent). This reflects a big change in the way people use pubs, away from celebratory and late-night occasions in favour of low-key visits in small groups.

NielsenIQ has partnered across a number of markets with CGA, in order to share some fascinating pub insights. CGA is the data and research consultancy of choice for the on-premise channel, specialising in market measurement, consumer research and location planning. Further details on the brand & category trends within Pubs and other channels are available within CGA’s Channel Strategy report. Please contact for more details.

NielsenIQ is committed to bringing innovation to the liquor insights landscape in the Australian market and is building their new off-premise capabilities – fuelled by the largest consumer panel in Australia – allowing for an unparalleled  level of shopper understanding and precise sales performance indicators without the need to purchase retailers’ raw data. For details on NielsenIQ new shopper and sales solutions, please contact

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