According to recent CGA data, 46% of consumers are now drinking spirits out of home and will spend up to 24% more on a cocktail that has been served properly and to a high standard. With this in mind, quality and premium spirits should be a major consideration for operators in order to drive revenue at the bar.
By Kelley Walker, Category Manager – Drinks at Beacon
The trend for premium spirits is one that is continuing to grow in both the on and off trade, where value sales are consistently higher than volume sales. This is particularly evident in the gin market, with the most recent report from the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) showing that premium gin accounted for 22% of the overall gin market in 2015, an increase of 18% from the previous year. This trend continues, with mid-market gin sales currently in decline and premium categories on the rise. It’s important to consider stocking a range of value, mid-market and premium spirits behind the bar and giving customers the opportunity to upsell to a premium option, in order to cater to differing demands whilst driving revenue.
In terms of the overall spirits market in the on trade, we know from working with one of our leading drinks suppliers, Matthew Clark, that vodka holds the majority of market by far with 38% in volume sales, with whisky as its closest competitor at 19%. However gin and rum are the ones to watch as we head into 2017, as data from a consumer survey in the WSTA report showing that just as many drinkers would now order a gin at the bar as they would vodka. This suggests that gin sales are going to continue to rise for the foreseeable future, so we would recommend that bar managers focus on their gin and rum products in order to provide a drinks menu that is not only on trend, but most importantly profitable.
Interestingly, recent insight from CGA Strategy has shown that too much choice at the bar could create confusion among customers, with simplicity now coming into fashion. We are seeing many bars reverting to more single drink concepts at the moment, such as a classic gin and tonic or rum and coke. These single serve drinks lend themselves to the use of premium spirits, as the simplicity of the drink allows the quality of the spirit to stand out. Whilst cocktails are of course a profitable and fashionable element of any bar, single serve drinks give bar managers the opportunity to increase profitability with bigger profit margins, whilst tapping into a growing trend.
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