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Consumers loosen purse strings on high tempo occasions - but quality and atmosphere is key

Consumers are ready to spend freely on high tempo occasions in the on premise—but only if they get high quality, new experiences and great atmosphere.

CGA by NIQ’s exclusive Evolving High Tempo Occasion Report provides expert analysis of crucial shifts in behaviour on these visits and highlights how people are willing to loosen their purse strings on big nights out. On consumer intercepts for the research, nearly half (47%) of high tempo on premise users said they hadn’t budgeted for their spend, while another 13% said they probably wouldn’t stick to their budgeted amount. Only a fifth (19%) thought they would adhere to the money they had allocated themselves.

Spontaneous attitudes open up opportunities for operators and suppliers to drive higher spend. However, consumers want to be sure that their occasions meet or exceed their expectations. Nearly nine in 10 say new or innovative experiences are now either essential (41%) or nice to have (45%) on their high tempo occasions.

CGA’s new report also reveals important changes in consumers’ choice of venues. While bars and drinking pubs are still the most common destinations (visited by 28% and 26% on their last high tempo occasions), other channels include pubs with a food focus (22%) and casual dining restaurants (15%). In total, food-led venues now account for 30% of all high tempo visits.

Experience-led venues are also increasingly popular alternatives to bars, pubs and clubs. Just under two thirds (64%) of high tempo consumers say they like visiting event spaces and creative venue complexes, and half (49%) of these users think the atmosphere there is better than in traditional outlets. When deciding where to go for their high tempo occasions, atmosphere emerges as a crucial consideration, ranking as the third most important factor among consumers.

“Consumers’ decision-making on high tempo visits is more complex than some might think,” said Paul Bolton, CGA by NIQ client director. “The range of channels they use now goes well beyond conventional late-night venues, and they are more sharply focused on atmosphere and quality. These consumers are ready to spend heavily and trade up to premium options, but with disposable incomes under pressure they want to be sure they’re getting good value for money and memorable experiences. Understanding these changing priorities and identifying what high quality experiences look like now will be crucial if operators and suppliers are to unlock spending over Christmas celebrations and into 2024.”


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