Sales of cocktails and other adult beverages have dipped in restaurants and bars, according to Technomic’s just-released Special Trends in Adult Beverage Report: 2014 State of the Industry, which shows adult beverage volume in the on-premise channel contracted 1.3 percent, while retail volume declined 0.7 percent in 2013.
Harsh winter weather was one culprit, causing overall foodservice sales declining 3 to 4 percent nationally and 7 to 8 percent in weather-affected markets such as the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. As a result, projections call for drink sales in restaurants and bars to remain challenged in 2014.
The good news? Operators can position spirits, wine and beer offerings as a point of differentiation and grow sales with creative presentations and programs, and on-trend flavors and formats, the study shows.
And Technomic Research Director Eric Schmidt sees continued growth in whiskey, craft beer and domestic table wine. “In the hands of the right bartender and promoted properly, these products can deliver on both experience and value. Although overall adult beverage volume will be challenged this year, we expect dollar growth from the ongoing consumer shift to more expensive categories, such as high-end whiskey and craft beer.”
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Are you doing something unique and creative to boost bar sales at your restaurant? If so, email Editor Kathleen Furore (email@example.com) so she can include information about your bar program in the Specialty Cocktail feature story coming in the Spring issue of el Restaurante!