Out-of-home summer drinking: Five big trends

As the summer gets into full swing, CGA by NielsenIQ research reveals the value of the season and the key trends to follow.

Sales measurement data shows the summer months accounted for 31% of all On Premise sales by value in 2019—a total spend of £9,795m. This emphasises the huge importance of summer in the positioning of drinks brands, and the need to understand how consumers’ preferences change from the rest of the year.

 

Here are just five of CGA by NielsenIQ’s many insights to help operators and suppliers flourish this summer:

 

1 Cider shines

CGA data from the last ‘normal’ summer of trading in 2019 shows cider took 7.2% of all On Premise drinks sales over the summer—significantly higher than the category’s average of 6.0% over the rest of the year. Daily breakdowns of sales show how it performs particularly well on hot days.

 

2 Lager up, stout down

Beer’s share of the market stays steady all year around, but there are significant sub-category trends to follow. As drinkers seek more refreshing drinks, standard lager takes an extra 0.4 percentage points of beer sales in the summer. Premium world lager takes even more (0.6 percentage points), and given its popularity in 2022 so far, it is likely to flourish over the next few months. Lager’s summer growth comes at the expense of sub-categories like stout, which loses 1.2 percentage points.

 

3 Gin trumps whiskey and vodka

When the sun is out, many spirits drinkers turn to light choices like gin and tonics. Gin grows its share of total spirits sales by 1.8 percentage points over the summer, while whiskey and vodka lose 0.9 and 0.7 respectively. Spirits like rum and tequila can also be expected to perform well this summer, given their growing popularity and their versatile serving options. Vodka’s resurgence post-COVID and similar adaptability is also likely to lead to summer success in 2022.

 

4 White and rosé lead in wine

Wine loses 1.2 percentage points of drinks share in the summer, but the category has two big winners: white and rosé. They grow their splits of the wine market by 2.8 and 1.1 percentage points respectively—at the expense of red wine, which loses 3.7. Sparkling wine has performed well since lockdowns ended, and should enjoy a decent summer.

 

5 Cocktails mixed up

CGA’s Mixed Drinks Report shows how consumers’ cocktail choices change with the seasons. More than two in five (43%) choose their options based on the time of year, and nearly two thirds (62%) prefer different flavours. Spritzes are a particularly good bet for the summer, with just over three quarters (77%) of consumers choosing them at least occasionally. Iced or slush cocktails—which two thirds (66%) of consumers who have seen them would like to try—could also be poised for growth this year.

 

 

CGA’s unique combination of sales measurement and consumer research helps suppliers and operators capitalise on major opportunities to grow drinks sales share in the summer. To learn more, please contact CGA client director Paul Bolton at paul.bolton@cgastrategy.com.

 

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