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EDITIONS
British lifestyles Wednesday, 20 January, 1999, 15:01 GMT
A lifestyle of leisure
water polo
More of us are taking up new sports
The bottom line of the Mintel survey may be that saving is the top spending priority is saving but Britons are coming up with new ways of treating themselves with the disposable income they do have.

Special Report: British Lifestyles
In the past decade, spending on going to the cinema has increased by 84% with growth particularly strong in the past year. Cinema admissions are now worth 616m per year.

Health and fitness is also a favourite leisure-time activity. Following particularly strong growth in the latter half of the decade, the industry is now worth 931m.

runners
Leisure is big business
Sports goods and toys have been the fastest growing items within leisure goods over the last decade - now worth 6.25bn.

In the same vein, the survey also showed that 21% of the population has taken up a new sport in the last year.

But for all that getting out and about, the survey also found that the home comfort of watching television is still the most popular leisure-time activity in the UK.

Taking a break

Although the past decade has seen a trend towards Britons taking more holidays and to more far flung destinations every year - the holiday market has remained at a steady 22bn in the past year.

Mintel concludes that this could be an added reflection of a weakening in consumer confidence.

beach
Holidays rank second
In terms of thinking beyond their borders, the survey found that Britons are no more inclined to think of themselves as European now as they were a decade ago.

Respondents were asked whether they agreed with the statement:"As well as being British, I also consider myself European".

Between 1988, when the question was first asked, and now there has been virtually no change in sentiment with just over four in ten people agreeing with the statement.

In terms of location it seems the further from the English channel you are the more European you feel. The South of England has the highest proportion of "non-Europeans" which those in the south-west and north-west were more likely to agree to the statement.

Eating out

Just under 21bn is spent on eating out in Britain. While fast food such as burgers, fried chicken and ethnic takeaway continuing to take the greatest share, pub meals have also enjoyed one of the highest growth rates.

beer being poured
More consumers are tapping into wines
But you might be less likely to have a beer with your meal. Increasing consumer sophistication and a decline in drinking away from the home are behind increased favour for soft drinks and wine.

Men's toiletries are the success story in terms of personal expenditure. The market for male toiletries has doubled in the last ten years and is now worth 800m - a growth of 22% in real terms.

Assuming younger men take their grooming habits with them into later life, the sector is destined for further success.

Links to more British lifestyles stories are at the foot of the page.


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