Drinks brand opportunities heating up as U.S. consumers travel this Summer

Consumer travel this summer means big opportunities for drinks brands and spirits as tailored drinks offering, assortment and price all influence choice, CGA’s Airport Bars channel strategy research uncovers.

The future looks bright for Airport Bars 

As US residents begin travelling domestic and internationally again this summer, albeit with limited restrictions, this presents suppliers with a valuable opportunity to re-engage consumers as they visit the channel once more.  


CGA’s research reveals over two thirds of airport bar visitors are looking to visit within the next 12 months indicating a positive outlook for the channel. 35% of typical airport bar visitors are also looking to visit more often than pre-COVID-19 and to compliment the positive intention to visit, 31% of consumers are planning to spend more when they do.   


Capturing consumers before and as they fly  

Visitation at airport bars is varied, but consumers are slightly more likely to visit for drink led occasions. Airport bar visitors are more likely to visit on their own, typically associated with lone business travel. However, over half of those visiting while travelling on vacation are likely to visit with their partner/spouse. 


To maximize consumption, stocking the right assortment and brands your consumers are looking for and aligning with their preferences will help engage and drive desired consumption – ultimately creating space for all types of drink to play.  


Enhance your brand opportunities: tailor to the traveling consumer  

Stocking the most desirable range of drinks is important to the consumer as 55% prefer a wider range of different brands and drinks in airport bars. However, price is the main factor when deciding their drinks choice.  


3 in 5 consumers are likely to pay extra for a better-quality drink and there is a clear opportunity to create options to make it easier for consumers to trade up and pay extra for premium quality. Considering the serve with popular spirits can also help drive up spend – premium mixers are found to be important when drinking with premium brands.  


The report also shows a polarization with consumers who choose drinks based on cost, with some opting for lower cost drinks rather than premium. A range of drink prices must be available to cater for the different types of flyers and engage them as they travel. 


Following price, drink choice is also influenced by consumers wanting to relax. This indicates that drinks stocked should be quick and easy to make and cater to what visitors are looking for.  


Matthew Crompton, Client Solutions Director, Americas, said “As travel restrictions begin to lift there are many opportunities to maximize spend in airport bars, with nearly a third of US consumers planning to spend more when they frequent these outlets. Price remains a major factor for consumers, however aligning with consumer demand for greater variety will help drive consumption.” 


CGA’s Channel Strategy Research provides a comprehensive view of consumers from 11 channels in a core and deep dive offering. To find out more about CGA’s channel strategy research and how it can assist in positioning your brand or category in different channels, please contact Matthew Crompton at Matthew.Crompton@cgastrategy.com .  



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