Young adults increasingly eat out rather than drink, says report

Vinoteca, Restaurant and Wine Shop, One Pancras Square, King's Cross

Young adults are increasingly going out more for food rather than for drinks, according to a new trends survey from the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR).

Over the past six months, fewer than 10% of people aged 19 to 24 have been out drinking at least three times per week, with 40% going out only once, and one in seven not going out at all.

While 60% of young people, including students, drink out less than once per week, the ALMR’s Future Shock report revealed that 50% of young people now eat out at least once per week.

The ALMR, which published the report with research group CGA, said this suggested a fundamental shift in eating and drinking out patterns away from pubs and bars to branded dining outlets.

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The publication of the ALMR’s report shows the changing nature of consumer habits as well as the evolving nature of the sector itself.

“This research also puts paid to the myth that young people in the Britain are drinking dangerously. We have seen alcohol consumption fall by 17% since the Licensing Act and rates of binge drinking fall from 29 to 18%.

“Young people are increasingly planning their social lives around eating out, turning away from drink and towards food. On average, under-25s are eating out between five to six times per month.

“This is being driven by the accessibility and affordability of great eating-out options, but it’s also the case that young people are just becoming more sophisticated and demanding consumers of food.

“Celebrity chefs from Jamie Oliver to Deliciously Ella have helped to create a foodie generation that is more conscious of the health aspect of eating out and the provenance and freshness of the ingredients.

“The boom in eating-out, particularly in casual dining outlets, has seen a renaissance of our high streets driven by younger consumers. This is not only helping to drive growth in our local economies, but help contribute to healthier consumption and changing attitudes towards alcohol.”

According to the latest figures from the government’s Office for National Statistics, nearly 21% of adults say they do not drink alcohol, rising to 29% in London. Of these, young adults are less likely to have consumed alcohol in the last week than those who are older.

Pictured: Young adults eating and drinking at Vinoteca in London’s King’s Cross.

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