Evolving Cocktail habits in the US On Premise: Late night losses and evening wins

Earlier dayparts are gaining an increasing share of cocktail sales, while Nevada has the highest consumption of all states.
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Those are among a wide range of exclusive insights from new research by CGA by NIQ, which fuses sales and consumer data to help beverage suppliers and operators unlock new growth opportunities. 

CGA’s Quarterly Sales Tracker reveals 13% growth in the value velocity of cocktail sales in the third quarter of 2023, and a clear shift in consumption towards earlier dayparts. While third-quarter value velocity in the late-night period (10pm to 6am) was 9% down year-on-year, it increased by 6% in the early evening (6pm to 10pm) window. Growth in the mid-afternoon period (3pm to 6pm) was even higher at 16%. Increases were also seen in the early and mid-day periods, albeit from lower bases.  

A breakdown of sales from CGA by NIQ’s BeverageTrak service also shows important trends in the days of consumption. All seven days of the week recorded improved velocity over the third quarter of 2023, but growth peaked at 16% on Saturdays and 9% on Fridays. 

Matthew Compton, CGA by NIQ’s regional director – North America, said: “This research reveals some fascinating and commercially significant changes in cocktail consumption in the US. Earlier drinking illustrates the growing versatility of the cocktail category, while the shift towards Friday and Saturday drinking is a reminder of the importance of a treat mindset. These twin trends provide exciting opportunities for suppliers who can achieve a deep understanding of different habits and preferences across the wide variety of cocktail occasions in bars and restaurants.” 

CGA by NIQ’s research also provides expert analysis of cocktail sales by state. Nevada achieved the highest average value velocity per venue by some distance in the third quarter of 2023, ahead of Minnesota and California. All three states substantially increased their sales year-on-year while some states, including District of Columbia, Texas and Massachusetts, saw a drop in velocity.  

Matthew Compton, CGA by NIQ’s regional director – North America, said: “The variation seen State by State show that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the cocktail market in the US a hyper-local and agile approach to category strategies is essential.” 

CGA by NIQ’s research suite provides outstanding insights into sales trends in cocktails and all other drinks categories in the US On Premise. The On Premise Cocktail Report adds further expert analysis of sales patterns and consumers’ preferences. To discover more about the solutions and the expert support that is available to help interpret trends at category, segment and brand level in the US On Premise, contact Matthew Crompton at matthew.crompton@nielseniq.com.  
Click here to read more about top cocktail trends in 2023, and click here for insights into velocity hotspots in the market. 

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