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Populus research reveals appetite for good food in local pubs

The local pub is undoubtedly a staple of British culture with many people across the country likely to spend at least a bit of time (and money) in theirs.

The importance of the local

The great British pub has taken a number of forms over the years from alehouses and taverns right through to the modern craft beer bars.

It’s reflected almost as a character in its own right in British TV and film, with soap operas seemingly requiring them as standard.

Most of us have a local pub near where we live or visit one near where we work. Indeed, Populus research on behalf of Heineken shows that 23% of British adults visit their local pub at least once week.

The changing face of the local pub

Recent Populus research finds that 62% of British adults want their local pub to offer good food, suggesting that outlets face new challenges to keep up with consumer demand.

The research reveals that the British public want to have good quality food served up alongside the wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. People expect local pubs to offer much more than pork scratchings.

How can pubs keep up?

To help pubs adapt to consumer demand, Dutch brewing company Heineken has announced it will invest £20 million into upgrading its Star Pubs and Bars estate across the UK.

Lawson Mountstevens, Star Pubs and Bars’ managing director, said: “vibrant pubs are an affordable, fun place where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together.

“But as consumer demands have changed, pubs that struggled to keep pace have closed. We believe pubs run by skilled operators and backed by transformational investment can thrive in their role at the heart of communities.”

The refurbishments will see new kitchens, layout changes and free WiFi introduced into Star pubs.

What next for the local pub?

Britain’s pubs have undergone many transformations over the centuries. They’ll need to continue to adapt to changing consumer demand to bring the punters back.

Consumer research is a vital part in both understanding what it is the UK public wants from their local pub and what pubs need to offer to survive and thrive as the market evolves.

Star Pubs and Bars is Heineken’s leased pub business and is made up of around 1,100 pubs in the UK.


Populus interviewed a random sample of 2,120 UK adults aged 18+ between 8 and 9 March 2017.  Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. Populus is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.populus.co.uk

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