The research, conducted by Home Leisure Direct, analysed search volume data for various competitive socialising related keywords including arcade, darts, foosball, mini-golf, pinball, pool, shuffleboard, snooker, and table tennis to discover the demand for related products and venues across the UK.
Three keyword variations were analysed for each game (one generic, one location-based, and one product-based). The totals for each game were calculated before comparing them against each out to form an overall ranking order. More than 550 data points were analysed in total.
Based on this research, across the nine games analysed, there was a combined average monthly search volume of 732,000 – almost 9 million searches per year overall. Pool, snooker, and darts saw the biggest search volumes in 2021, each with an average monthly search volume of more than 150,000 – almost two million searches per year overall.
As well as analysing UK figures, city-level data were also analysed for the 20 UK cities with the largest populations. Looking at average monthly searches across all nine games, the findings revealed that Edinburgh, Coventry, London, Leicester, and Sunderland were among the cities most likely to be searching for competitive socialising keywords.
Edinburgh took the top city spot for four of the nine games, including darts, foosball, mini-golf, and pinball. London secured three top spots – arcade, shuffleboard, and table tennis – Coventry and Leicester topped the list for one game each (pool and snooker, respectively).
Andy Beresford, a co-founder of Home Leisure Direct, commented: ‘With more and more people conscious of their health, time, and money, going out for a boozy night in a club has drastically diminished. Gone is the time when a mere conversation is enough to stimulate our minds – we want memories, experiences, and something way out of the ordinary. To capitalise on the boom in ‘competitive socialising’, vendors should try to provide the entertainment and individuality that represent value for money to these consumers. It’s a challenge that many suppliers and manufacturers are ready to meet with passion, expertise, and imagination.’
‘This is where the future of ‘competitive socialising’ comes in, with leisure activities evolving in recent years from classic pub games to utilising modern technology and giving punters maximum bang for their buck. The UK’s most popular types of competitive socialising have traditionally been closely linked to pubs and include pub quizzes, snooker, pool, and darts. People are finding new ways to disrupt the traditional competitive socialising market, introducing other games such as table tennis, shuffleboard, and more.’
‘Games can now be accessible to people of different ages and abilities by tweaking them with technological advances. Ultimately, this makes venues more appealing to a wider demographic, but also the enhanced games will add a new dimension to customers’ experiences.’
For more information on the research, visit here.