Thousands of people are going Sober for October – but it is not just those doing it for charity who aren't buying booze at the bar.

According to stats from hospitality purchasing company Beacon, 44 per cent of Brits are drinking less when going out than this time last year.

The two biggest drivers in the decision to reduce alcohol intake are health and the price of booze.

Those cutting back the most are young adults aged between 18 and 24 (45 per cent) and, perhaps more surprisingly, the over 55s, with 48 per cent saying they are drinking less.

Geographically, Scots and the South East are the regions seeing drinking rates plummet at the fastest rate.

Beacon suggested the decline in Scotland – where some venues have reported drops in alcohol sales as high as 90 per cent – could be linked to having a lower drink-driving limit than the rest of the UK.

 

The top regions drinking less

1) Scotland (50.6%)
1) South East (50.6%)
2) Northern Ireland (50%)
3) East Midlands (46.7%)
4) South West (46.6%)

 

Paul Connelly, Beacon managing director, said: "These changing trends are naturally forcing companies and high street businesses to become more savvy and inventive with their drinks offering, and adapt their menus accordingly to survive. We predict a continued rise in the importance of non-alcoholic drinks, lower alcohol alternatives and healthier drink choices as we move into 2018."

He added: "Whilst it may seem a worrying time for operators, it is important for them to now consider different ways of retaining sales. For example, by expanding their food offerings, extending their range of non-alcoholic beverages or considering more price-led offers and promotions, given that pricing was the number one reason for people drinking less."

The research was based on a survey of 2,000 people in September.