Consumers more likely to order cocktails with branded spirits on menus

Typically, when ordering spirits, 43% of spirits drinkers order by specific brand, while just over a third (33%) order the category generally, and 24% do so depending on the situation. 

A North American survey highlights the opportunity for beverage suppliers to influence drinks choice when a branded spirit is listed as an ingredient on cocktail menus in bars and restaurants. 

Cocktails
Almost 3 in 5 cocktail drinkers have seen cocktails listing branded spirits on menus when visiting bars and/or restaurants in the past 3 months.

The latest Consumer Impact report by CGA by NielsenIQ shows that in the past month 2 in 5 consumers have visited the On Premise 3 or more times and 56% of consumers’ last trip to the On Premise was within the past week. Visitation levels remain positively steady compared to the previous month, however 38% of consumers have been out for a drink-led visit, likely driven by consumers wanting to make the most of patio season and the warmer weather. 

Significantly, the report reveals that almost 3 in 5 cocktail drinkers have seen cocktails listing branded spirits on menus when visiting bars and/or restaurants in the past 3 months, and 44% have subsequently ordered these cocktails. Cocktails remain a popular choice for consumers when visiting bars and restaurants. Caesar cocktails have been engaged with most often, with almost 1/3 of cocktail drinkers having the serve in the last 3 months.

Among consumers who have ordered cocktails including branded spirits in the past 3 months, 2 in 5 have done so every time/almost every time they have visited the On Premise – highlighting the influence this brand exposure has when positioned as a key ingredient in a preferred cocktail type. 

There is still significant room for growth in this area for brands to entice consumers to try a branded spirit in a cocktail, by optimising this crucial part of the consumers’ path to purchase – 52% of consumers order cocktails with branded sprits only occasionally when visiting bars and/or restaurants. 

Importantly, half of cocktail drinkers have had a signature serve cocktail in bars/restaurants in the past 3 months. Defined as ‘unique to the venue’, signature serves present venues and suppliers with opportunities to offer choice beverages which entice consumers into experimenting with new flavours, spirits and serves. 54% of those drinkers that have had signature cocktails, drank them every time/ almost every time on their visits, and strategically could suggest a popular drink option to serve if venues don’t already offer this.

Typically, when ordering spirits, 43% of spirits drinkers order by specific brand, while just over a third (33%) order the category generally, and 24% do so depending on the situation. This presents suppliers with the opportunity to engage loyal brand consumers, and to drive consumers to trial brands when presented in a range of cocktail serves. 

Matthew Crompton, Regional Director, North America, CGA, says, “Casual dining chains continue to be the most visited venue type in the On Premise, with over half of consumers visiting the channel in the past 3 months. Working effectively with target outlets to get branding and branded descriptions on menus can help boost visibility further to influence cocktail choice. It’s important for suppliers to consider the effectiveness of branded and non-branded options when building On Premise strategies with operators and independents.” 

On Premise satisfaction remains high across the board, particularly around quality of service. The research also suggests operators and suppliers can expect steady levels of consumer visits to bars and restaurants in the upcoming month, and new opportunities to entice target consumers to repeat purchase and trial brands. 

“Being able to truly understand the nuances of consumer preferences, need states and motivations to influence effective decision-making is key to success. On Premise occasions are important to consumers, and suppliers and operators need to be able to cater to the needs and expectations during visits,” says Crompton.

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