Cost of Living challenges will not slow On Premise visitation for almost half of consumers in Canada this Winter

CGA by NIQ's On Premise User Survey (OPUS) examines the crucial need for brands, suppliers and operators to understand the impact of cost of living pressures on consumers in Canada.
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The survey showed that for the majority of consumers, their relationship with the On Premise has remained consistent over the past month*, with two thirds (61%) maintaining the same frequency of going out for food and drinks. But there’s still a notable proportion who have reduced how often they go out for drinks (29%) and food (28%). BeverageTrak data from CGA by NIQ’s On Premise Impact Reports reveal that sales velocities and check values continue to outpace 2019 levels.  


Canada’s check value revealed +7% growth vs the same 12-week period in 2022. While higher spend in the On Premise is primarily attributed to price increases, a proportion of consumers (24%) admit to treating themselves more (+6pp higher than Fall 2022), it shows that while some consumers are reducing spend and/or visitation frequency, treat occasions and spend are also contributing to growth of check value size. 


Naturally, visitation experiences seasonal changes during the Fall and Winter which will contribute to overall channel performance. Almost half (47%) of consumers expect to visit the On Premise as frequently in Fall and Winter as they did in Spring and Summer. Notably, younger consumers are driving this behavior with 19–34-year-olds, (56%) expecting to maintain their Spring/Summer visitation frequency.  


Encouragingly 55% of consumers between the LDA and those under 35 are also ‘confident’ they’ll maintain their current spend in venues over the next 12 months.  What is clear is that there is significant polarization among consumers. As some consumers look to visit the On Premise more in the year ahead, others are looking to cut back.  This means that it’s more important than ever for brands, suppliers and operators to understand their own consumers and develop strategies to engage those consumers who will continue to go out. 


Mitch Stefani, Client Solutions Director – North America said: “With cost-of-living pressures impacting all consumers, it’s encouraging that the channel is still being prioritized for a variety of occasions – be it standard everyday visits or treat and special occasions. We continue to monitor satisfaction and overall visitation to inform suppliers and operators with updated consumer behavior and how this can impact outlook for the channel and beverage alcohol industry.


OPUS data provides key insights on how consumers are behaving when out, which audiences are engaging with the channel the most and willing to spend more, allowing you to maintain visitation and spending in the channel. As we approach the end of the year, its crucial you have all the tools needed to plan a successful On Premise sales and marketing strategy for 2024 and beyond.”



The new Canada OPUS (On Premise User Survey) Fall survey explores in detail how the cost of living is affecting consumer behaviour, visitation, and spend within the channel, plus priorities for the year ahead. It also includes in-depth analysis into other key topics such as food and drink pairings, and taste and flavours.  


To find out more about OPUS, contact Mitch Stefani, Client Solutions Director –  



*Consumers were surveyed between the dates September 7th – October 3rd 2023 

*Source: CGA by NIQ Sales Impact Report November 17th 2023 

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