How are nightclub drinking habits changing?

We visit nightclubs to socialise, dance and drink. But are consumer drinking habits having an impact on the way we interact with nightlife? 

We take a look at what we’re drinking, how much we’re drinking and how much we’re prepared to spend… 

Teetotal is on trend

We’re still enjoying getting out and about… but our love for having a few too many is waning. 

One in three 18-24 year olds don’t drink. 64% of nightclub visitors had just one alcoholic drink… or none at all. That’s a huge percentage of club customers staying relatively sober. But why is this? 

Key reasons for curbing our alcohol intake:

  • Money

There’s no doubt about it – alcohol is expensive. As people start saving more, and start to value experiences far more than material products, people are reluctant to spend huge amounts of their cash on a big night out. 

  • Health

We know drinking too much isn’t good for us. People are starting to take managing their wellbeing seriously, and staying off the booze can be a big part of that. 

  • Safety 

We all want to make sure ourselves and our friends get home safely at the end of the night. Enjoying a few drinks allows people to have a great time, without getting too drunk. 

  • Control

The Instagram-obsessed generation don’t want to be tagged in photographs showing them at their worst. A few photo-worthy cocktails far outweighs being snapped stumbling out of a club. 

Britain’s favourite soft drinks

We took a look at the soft drinks and premium soft drinks brands British people searched for most in 2020… 

  1. Belvoir (3551 searches)
  2. Red Bull (2802 searches)
  3. Pepsi (2559 searches)
  4. Fever-Tree (2295 searches)
  5. Coca-cola (1913 searches)
  6. Tango (1598 searches)
  7. Bottlegreen (1588 searches)
  8. Fanta (1195 searches)
  9. Tonic water (1062 searches)
  10. Dr Pepper (521 searches)
  11. Fentimans (391 searches)
  12. San Pellegrino (247 searches) 

Other top choices included Vita Coco, Cawston Press, J2O and Appletiser. 

These searches indicate that consumers care just as much about brand as they do the product. Some of the highest search results are for premium soft drink brands – not just the products they sell. Keep this in mind when you think of brands to stock behind the bar. 

Premium prices for premium drinks

Sales of non-alcoholic drinks are growing year on year. In fact, they’re in 75% growth. That’s because fewer consumers are drinking alcohol while out, yet want to experience a great time and enjoy tasty drinks. 70% of adults consume premium soft drinks. So, when you consider which drinks you’re serving up behind the bar, you’ll have to be a little bolder than stereotypical pop. More than half of consumers want to see a wider range of soft drinks behind the bar so, if this isn’t a priority, you’re missing a trick. 

Coca Cola has been a big player in the soft drinks market for many years. But companies such as Fever Tree are stepping in to dominate the spot for premium mixers. People are choosing top quality, luxury mixers… and it won’t be long before customers demand a top soft drinks offering too. 

The number of people looking for luxury low and no alcohol options is on the rise. Alcohol-free alternatives are big business, from non-alcoholic gins and beers through to low alcohol wine options. But there’s a rise in premium, flavoursome soft drinks that are a delicious option in their own right. Mocktails and fruity soft drinks, plus healthy smoothies or vitamin-rich drinks are growing in popularity. 

Quite simply, it’s not enough to just offer coca cola and lemonade behind the bar. Nightclubs must intrigue customers by providing a much wider range of delicious drinks. 

Sustainable drinks

The ethical food and drink market is worth more than £8 billion in the UK, so it’s definitely something nightclubs should take note of. 

Drinks that come from sustainable sources, or local suppliers, are likely to be most popular with consumers. Environmentally friendly processes, ethics and packaging won’t go unnoticed by eco-conscious customers. 

Plastic free pop is rising. Glass bottles look fantastic and are considered better for the environment – and it’s often an option consumers will choose. 

We’re drinking more water than ever

We should aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water each day – more if we’re consuming alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates you, so you can counteract this by drinking a glass of water alongside each alcoholic beverage. 

Nightclubs should provide free water for guests that require it. However, some nightclubs choose to charge for the service or the glass which is legal to do, but not particularly charitable. Allows guests to keep sober and stay hydrated by offering free water. Some bars or pubs have large tankards of water left unattended at the bar – which is potentially unhygienic and dangerous. Instead, have a manned water station, water cooler or allow guests to ask for free water at the bar. 

Allowing customers the opportunity to stay hydrated will help to keep guests dancing the night away in your club. 

It’s all about experience

It’s not just about how many shots someone can drink in a few hours. Nightclub guests are on the hunt for a unique and special experience. The future of nightclubs is changing and venue owners must remember that. From utilising innovative new technology through to hosting themed nights and celebrity meet-and-greets, there are a host of ways nightclubs can reach a new audience without needing to focus on an unbeatable drinks collection. 

Are you ready to join us for a drink? We’re night-time industry specialists, because we care about nightlife as much as you do. To work with a broker who understands you and your business, get in touch.