Portman Group Chief Executive John Timothy has responded to the results of the latest survey from consumer insights agency CGA which shows that the majority of Brits are drinking the same or less compared to lockdown, dispelling fears raised by increasing alcohol sales in supermarkets.

Commenting, John Timothy said:

“This is the latest of a number of surveys showing that the vast majority of Brits in lockdown are drinking the same or less than before.

Whilst we are all familiar with headlines showing increases of alcohol sales in supermarkets, this reflects a shift in demand from pubs and bars to the home, as Brits stockpile to follow the Government guidance to stay inside and socialise with friends online.

It is also encouraging to see so many people taking steps such as buying a ‘virtual pint’ to support local businesses at a time of great difficulty for those working in the UK hospitality sector.

The fact that 17% of people have increased their drinking should not be overlooked; it is critical we understand who is drinking more and by how much.  We would urge anyone worried about their own or someone else’s drinking to visit the NHS or Drinkaware websites, which provide free support and practical advice to help people cut back.”

The headline figures from the CGA BrandTrack survey of 5,000 GB adults are:

  • 83% of Brits report drinking the same (46%), less (28%) or cutting out alcohol completely (9%), although 17% report drinking more than usual.
  • These results echo a previous snap poll from CGA published at the beginning of April, which showed that 42% of respondents drinking less and 14% said they were drinking more, implying that 44% were drinking the same as before lockdown.
  • Furthermore, nearly half (45%) of those who typically drink out weekly report drinking less than usual or  cutting out alcohol altogether, with 20% reporting an increase in consumption.
  • 16% of Brits report cutting down alcohol consumption and 39% report exercising more to help protect their health as a result of COVID-19.
  • 28% of Brits say they have held a virtual gathering with friends and family as an alternative to visiting a pub or bar during lockdown.
  • Consumers are also reaching out to support local businesses in their time of need, with 20% who do so reporting purchasing a bar tab for when pubs reopen and 20% donating to online fundraising initiatives, such as buying a ‘virtual pint’.