Young adults choosing eating out over drinking out

Younger consumers are becoming more interested in eating out than drinking out, according to the new Future Shock report from CGA Peach and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR).

The major study found that more than half (55%) of non-parents aged 18 to 24 eat out at least weekly—compared to two in five (40%) who drink out with the same frequency. One in seven in this category has not been out for a drink in the last six months, while only one in four has been to drink at a branded venue late at night.

The figures are in line with the rapid rise in the country’s casual dining restaurants over the last few years, giving young adults more choice than ever before for eating out. The survey also reveals the changing drinking habits of 18 to 24 year-olds, with soft drinks now the most common category of drink for these consumers.  

Among 24 to 44 year-olds, choices are unsurprisingly skewed towards family-friendly pub and casual dining brands. These are frequent diners, accounting for only one in six of the British population, but around 30% of all dining occasions.

By contrast, those aged 55 or over make up one in three of the population, but only one in four dining occasions. Two in five (40%) women in this age group say they don’t go out to drink, and nearly two in three do not consider alcohol to be an important factor when choosing where to eat.