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Tue 14th Apr 2015 - CGA research reveals growing importance of cocktails in on-trade
CGA research reveals growing importance of cocktails in on-trade: High-alcohol cocktails are being replaced in drinkers’ affections by more indulgent drinks, elaborate combinations and lighter versions – although cocktails are increasingly important to the on-trade with volumes up 4% in six months. These are among the topline findings from The Mixed Drinks Report, the annual survey of the market by CGA Strategy. It reveals sophisticated and lower strength drinks like the Espresso Martini have risen in popularity among consumers over the last six months, while other more established serves including the Long Island Iced Tea have fallen slightly out of favour. The report also highlights the rising popularity of ‘skinny’ and light mixed drinks, with a fifth (20%) of frequent cocktail drinkers now saying they always prefer to order one. Both trends are likely to continue through this summer, the peak trading season for cocktails. Other key trends revealed in The Mixed Drinks Report include: The mojito remains the UK’s favourite cocktail, with 41% of respondents saying they like to drink it; vodka is the most commonly used spirit in cocktails – but speciality spirits are now close behind in second place; cocktails are most popular among women – but men enjoy them too. Half (52%) of women say they drink cocktails, and a third (35%) of men. The report confirms the huge importance of cocktails to the on-trade now. The volume of cocktail sales has risen 4% in the last six months – this is in contrast to total wet sales which are down -7% versus the previous six months. CGA Strategy’s research also highlights opportunities for the on-trade to get a greater share of the cocktail market. Cocktail promotions are a big driver of footfall, with four in five people (80%) likely to visit a venue because it was running one. Two in five (39%) are meanwhile influenced in their choice of drink by bartenders’ recommendations. Price is an important consideration too, and a third (34%) of those who don’t drink them say they are put off by the expense. Tom Lynch, commercial director at CGA Strategy, said: “Our latest research further reinforces the scale of the cocktail category and the breadth of cocktail consumption when people go out to drink. We’re now seeing a far greater variety of serves making their way into the consumers’ repertoire, with more adventurous flavours and increasingly sophisticated mixology now permeating the mainstream for the first time. We’re also seeing the rise of healthier, lower strength serves mirroring similar trends that we’ve seen in wine and beer, providing operators with a challenge; extend your menus to meet increasingly diverse customer expectations, while maintaining cost control in a challenging category to deliver efficiently.” The Mixed Drinks Report is available now. For more information, call 0161 476 8330 or visit www.cgastrategy.co.uk.


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