What we think
This is where you can peer into our minds and learn a bit more about us as recruiters, consultants and humans. Expect plenty of insight into Consumer, Retail, Recruitment, and life in our Leeds and London spaces. Some tips from the top and the odd guest appearance. Enjoy and please feel free to leave us a comment!
Can the on-trade industry bounce back?13th April 2023
A bit about me… and my history with the drinks industry (personally and professionally!).
I joined Seven straight out of University and have always been interested in the FMCG sector, specifically the drinks and on-trade industry. Throughout University I worked at a busy city centre pub and really enjoyed it (so much so that I still work the occasional Saturday even now!). I’ve always enjoyed meeting up with friends at the pub. Working behind the bar gives you a different perspective of the trade and why it is so enjoyable.
Times have changed…
Obviously the on-trade industry has evolved significantly since pre-pandemic. There’s no doubt that pubs have been grappling with soaring energy costs, rising food prices and weakened consumer demand throughout the past few years. And things certainly aren’t getting any easier in 2023. Sadly, there have been a total of 2,663 pubs closing in cities, towns and villages over the past five years (source). As more and more pubs are due to close in the coming year, concerns continue to grow not only the pubs themselves but also the brands that serve them.
How brands can turn the struggle into an opportunity
There are a few things that have impacted the on-trade industry, yet the one that is having the most damaging impact is the cost-of-living crisis. As prices continue to soar, footfall in the UK’s on-trade venues has seen a decline because consumers are becoming more inclined to enjoy a drink from the comfort of their own home. Whilst this makes life difficult for many drinks companies, it has also presented them with a chance to innovate as the market is changing. RTD products are set to perform well this year with many consumers willing to swap late night cocktail experiences to a canned alternative at home. A couple of my favourites include Moth and Niche Cocktails!
After speaking with many candidates in recent weeks/months, I have noticed a growing interest in working for companies with no and low alcohol products. With recent drives in participation of events such as dry January and Stoptober. It is no wonder that this market is becoming more popular. Pubs and bars are recognising that none-drinkers often want more than a standard soft drink. Therefore increasing their number of innovative non-alcoholic brands can open a new consumer base for them. Brands such as Lucky Saint and Everleaf seem to be doing well at the moment, watch this space!
Doing everything I can to help(!)
Most weekends I’ll find myself going out with friends to bars/pubs in Leeds. I think it is important to do so at a time where so many have been struggling to keep their doors open. Naturally, I find myself going to the pub much less now than I did when I was at University. But I still make an effort to go for a beer on a weekend with mates. The post-work Friday beer defo tastes better than all others, I am convinced!
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