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Why consumer demand for alcohol themed attractions continues to increase in the UK

UK residents, visitors and international onlookers could be forgiven for thinking that the great British public are turning their backs on alcohol. A surge in their personal wellbeing and participation in charity-based challenges, where drinking alcohol is suspended for a month, seems to have taken over the country.

  • This is a decrease of 1.6 litres of alcohol equates to 56 pints of beer per year.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

Despite falling consumption levels, the UK alcohol market is capitalising on the brands made on the shores, its product innovation, and the premiumisation of their drinks too.

As a result, the UK alcohol industry is the fifth largest in the world accounting for over $72,000 million worth of global sales in 2019. There are four key consumer trends that are pushing the demand for more alcohol-themed experiences. 

NEW EXPERIENCES

A desire to experience something, rather than own ‘things’ continues to be a trend in the UK. That includes adults wanting to satisfy their inner child with playfulness and enjoyable activities.

VALUES AND LOYALTY

Consumers are now doing their research on the values of brands and businesses, with ethics and originality at the top of their criteria. This is swaying consumer purchasing decisions, but also acts as a ‘badge of honour’ for the consumer to display their values through brands.

BACK TO REALITY

Yes, social media has brought friends and family closer together online, but it hasn’t replaced the sheer joy of human interaction. Drinking alcohol has always had a symbiotic relationship with socialising together. As we are living in a post-pandemic digital world, we need this more than ever.

TRACEABILITY AND AUTHENTICITY

The food and drink market is coming under scrutiny as consumers question the products they are putting into their bodies. Understanding the process, the quality and care taken to make the product satisfies the consumer that they’re always consuming the best.

RESPONDING TO DEMAND

The UK has seen an influx of new experiences over the last few years. As well as ‘pop-up’ events and newly-themed bars entering the market (as we highlighted on our blog last year) there has been an increase in popularity for permanent attractions. Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland, has become the shining example in the region, attracting over 1.7 million visitors in 2019 to their experiential museum.

The Storehouse saw a 32% increase in visitors compared to the previous year, and as well as generating revenue, it is helping the brand tap into a younger demographic – future proofing sales of the drink for years to come.

It isn’t just global brands that are taking advantage of the growing trend, with a plethora of artisinal, local breweries and distilleries opening their doors for a unique behind-the-scenes experience. One such brand is Portmagee Whiskey, which we have been fortunate to have worked with to create a brand new visitor centre in Ireland.

Inspired by the captivating stories of their home village’s smuggling and sailing stories, a visit to the Portmagee Whiskey visitor centre will feature a gallery, tasting session and immersive sailing experience inside a 360-degree projection dome. They will become an anchor destination on the south-coast of Ireland and prove once again that consumers are certainly interested in alcohol-themed experiences.

Are we ready for more alcohol-themed experiences?

Quite simply, yes. But as more competitor attractions open, the need for existing attractions to be unique, immersive and experiential is crucial. For help in making your alcohol-themed experience or attraction stand out from the crowd, get in touch with the Katapult team today to see how we can help you take your destination to the next level.

Looking for insights to improve your experience or attraction? Discover how our Guest Experience Audit and Market Insights Report can help you.


Robbie
Jones

Insights Analyst Lead at Katapult. He works on providing data-driven audience and market trends, as well as operational insights, to assist the client and design team in creating immersive, commercially-successful experiences. Robbie has over 10 years' experience in the leisure and tourism industry and has worked with iconic brands, theme parks, family entertainment centres, museums and visitor attractions around the world.