According to the latest edition of Nielsen CGA’s COVID-19 Impact Report, On Premise visitation in the U.S. has remained flat in the last few weeks - but amongst these steady numbers, opportunities exist to re-engage visitors (or draw in those who have yet to revisit bars and restaurants) in areas where the virus is slowing.

A survey of 1,400 consumers in four key states—Florida, Texas, New York and California—found that just over two in five (42%) had been out to eat in the two weeks to 3 August. This latest data reveals a 1pp rise in the previous two weeks and showed that 38% are planning to eat out in the next two weeks. Fewer than one in six (15%) consumers have been out for a drinking occasion in the last two weeks—down just 1pp from 16%.

The new figures demonstrate the impact that COVID-19 has had on differing states and consumer groups, and hint at what is to come in the UK: in the first three weeks of lockdown, around half of UK consumers returned to pubs, bars and restaurants. As in the US, this first wave of returners have been satisfied with their experiences, but a significant proportion of the population — most significantly those in an older age range — remain hesitant about going out to eat. The government’s VAT cut on food and Eat Out to Help Out initiative may encourage more people to go out in the weeks ahead, but operators will be anxious to avoid a similar plateauing of visits to the on-trade in the UK.

Nielsen CGA’s new data shows how visits are closely tied to the progress of COVID-19. In New York, where infection rates have slowed lately, 44% of consumers have eaten out in the last two weeks - up by five percentage points vs the previous two weeks. But in Florida, where cases continue to soar, the proportion of people going out dropped six percentage points to 43%.

There are several positive signs in the data for US operators, including the fact that two thirds (65%) of consumers have ordered take-out or delivery in the last two weeks—up four percentage points from the two weeks before. The survey also shows that wine, cocktails and domestic non-craft beer have been the most popular drinks in bars and restaurants in the last 14 days.

While some consumers have enthusiastically returned to the market after lockdown on both sides of the Atlantic, this latest data shows that many others are very anxious about doing so,” says Matthew Crompton, Client Solutions Director at Nielsen CGA. “But as New York illustrates, more people will venture out again when COVID-19 cases ease. Reassuring these returners that they are in safe hands will be key to achieving repeat visits and encouraging them to persuade others to follow them out.”

 

The full 11th edition of the US COVID-19 Impact Report is available now, free of charge. Please contact Matthew Crompton at matthew.crompton@nielsencga.com for more details. More information about Nielsen CGA’s analysis of COVID-19’s impact on the US market and On Premise recovery is here.

CGA Nielsen is the North American operation of CGA. 

     

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