CGA reveals heightened competition in fine dining

Spirits and beer brands have opportunities in US fine dining restaurants despite a recent dip in sales, CGA by NIQ’s On Premise Measurement (OPM) service indicates.

The exclusive service, which provides the most definitive picture of out-of-home drinks trends, shows the fine dining channel had a 7.6% share of all spirits sales by value in the 12 months to end-February—0.3 percentage points less than in the previous year. As there are now fewer fine dining outlets in the market, there will be heightened competition in this channel. However, the growth of the spirits universe presents opportunities for manufacturers and distributors due to the number of openings in the market, but there are nuances – with fewer outlets across casual nightclubs (-2.4%) and premium bars (-0.3%).


However, there is potential for suppliers in many spirits categories—especially vodka, which increased its share of fine dining spirits sales by +0.8 percentage points in the 12 months to February, thanks to the popularity of ultra and super-premium brands. Vodka now attracts 29.2% of all spirits sales in the channel, making it the top shareholder by some distance. Whiskey, cordials and gin have all gained share in the last 12 months, but tequila and rum have lost 0.5 and 0.7 percentage points respectively.


CGA’s OPM service indicates some similar trends in the beer category. Like spirits, there are new openings that present distribution opportunities for the beer category, most evident in quick service restaurants. Fine dining experienced the greatest decline and within the channel will be greater competition, making these points of distribution especially valuable for the category.  


Fine dining took 2.9% of total beer $ sales in the 12-month period—0.3 percentage points less than the previous year. Craft remains the channel’s most popular beer sub-category with 30.9% of sales, but this is –3.9 percentage points down year-on-year. Import and domestic premium segments have gained +5.6 and +2.0 percentage points of share respectively.



Matthew Compton, CGA by NIQ’s VP of North America, said: “While the fine dining channel in the US has contracted, it still provides excellent opportunities for spirits and beer brands, especially at the premium end of the categories. With competition intense at the moment, suppliers need to understand the very latest sales dynamics and guests’ preferences, align the right brands to the right venues, and craft compelling sales stories. Our OPM service, with wine category data coming soon, provides the perfect foundations for market knowledge and smart decision-making.”


CGA’s OPM solution delivers in-depth intelligence on the spirits and beer categories across the US On Premise, with expert analysis by channel, sub-category, state and much more. To discover more about the service and opportunities for bespoke analysis, contact Matthew Crompton at here or visit 


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