Premium Beer Brands Becoming More Prominent on UK Pub and Bar Drinks Menus

According to data from Lumina Intelligence’s Menu Tracker, presented at the MCA Pub Conference, premium beer brands are becoming more prominent on operator menus across UK pub and bar drinks menus.

Operators target more premium beer bottles/cans
Data collected in May 2022 shows that Brewdog accounts for 19% of all 330ml beer bottles or cans on the menus of 20 largest pub and bar brands in the UK – an increase of 1ppt versus February 2022, Heineken accounts for 7% – an increase of 5ppts and Amstel accounts for 3% – an increase of 1ppt.
All three of these brands are more expensive than the average price of beer on menus – Brewdog is +12.5% more, Heineken +2.6% and Amstel +5.0%.

Whiskey growing in presence
As well as premium beer brands, operators are turning to spirits to drive higher spend. In April 2022, gin was the most prominent spirit to feature on pub menus – accounting for 37% of all spirits on menus. Whiskey is the next highest and has grown its share since February – accounting for 17% of all spirits on a pub/bar menu. Operators are expanding their ranges of these more premium drinks, with the average price of whiskey on drinks menus +1% more expensive than total spirits.

Customisable dishes drive efficiencies

Pub operators are not just turning to drinks in order to drive spend and premiumise. Operators are introducing new customisable dishes in order to increase price points on menus whilst also managing staff shortages and boosting consumer satisfaction.
Between February and May 2022, 56% of new main dishes on pub menus were tagged as customisable, and these dishes were 5% more expensive than the average main course.

The price differences are even more prominent across other courses:

Across all courses, 39% of all new dishes added to pub and bar menus between February and May 2022 have been customisable and command a +25% higher price point than the average dish.

Speaking at the MCA Pub Conference, Senior Insight Manager at Lumina Intelligence, Katie Prowse, said:
“Like all hospitality channels, pubs and bars are facing into rising costs and greater scrutiny from consumers. Operators are using tactics to mitigate these challenges and encourage consumers to trade up to more premium products. Increasing availability of more premium beers and spirits is one way to drive spend, as well as through customisable dishes that encourage consumers to trade-up. Customisation is an important tool for operators as it allows for consumer choice and taps into trends for experience and personalisation. Operators can achieve this through allowing consumers to choose sides to go with dishes or more premium sauces/toppings, which can help ease kitchen pressures through having a more streamlined menu, as well boost spend through more premium options.”

Find out more about Lumina Intelligence’s Menu Tracker here.