Roaring Twenties cocktails on fashion at British pub chain Wetherspoon

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Younger drinkers ordered more cocktails, vodka and rum, UK retailer Wetherspoon said today, and beer sales were down because elderly people less frequently popped into the pub.

Pub chain Wetherspoon and Britain's hospitality sector, hard hit by the Covid outbreak and struggling with staff shortages and supply issues, see themselves as heading on a long road to recovery.

"In the last 15 weeks, there has been a considerable increase in sales of the range of drinks often consumed by younger customers," Wetherspoon said in a statement, which noted that cocktail sales have increased by 45 by a quarter, vodka by 17 per cent and rum by 26 per cent.

Drinks on tap - popular mainly among older pub customers - however would come under 'pressure,' it said.

Sales of traditional beers fell by 30 per cent, while sales of strong brews fell by 20 per cent.

Wetherspoon shares slid 4 percent to 993 pence at 0856 GMT after the business also announced a drop in like-for-like sales by 8.9 per cent in the 15 weeks to November 7.

The figures come a month after Wetherspoon, one of the UK's biggest pub groups often referred to by younger customers as merely "Spoons" reported a bigger loss for the year ending July 25.

'A material proportion of our trade comes from older customers, some of whom have visited pubs less frequently in recent times,' said Wetherspoon chief executive Tim Martin.