Quality on Tap? New Insights into Australia’s Cocktail Culture

The allure of mixed drinks and draught/tap cocktails continues to capture the imagination of Australian consumers when out in venues.
Download more information about OPUS here
Download more information about OPUS here

With more than half of On Premise consumers having encountered draught/tap cocktails or mixed drinks when out visiting bars and restaurants, it is clear awareness is on the rise. But this awareness doesn’t directly translate into acceptance where nearly half (45%) of consumers acknowledge an improvement in the quality of draught/tap offerings. Although many still feel they fall short of bartender-mixed counterparts – a sentiment shared by only 16% who believe them to be superior.


Despite this, there’s a notable shift towards classic cocktail types from draught/tap systems, indicating ample room for increasing On Premise penetration. For this reason, it’s crucial to understand, challenge and overcome consumer perceptions to capitalise on this trend, with opportunities to influence purchasing behaviour through targeted tastings and leveraging bartender influence to encourage trial.


So, what are consumers potentially looking for on tap?


The survey indicates a strong preference for classic cocktails and their variations when it comes to draught/tap options. This preference points to simplicity and familiarity for driving consumer engagement with these serves. Nevertheless, almost a third of consumers would expect to see modern cocktails new to the market on draught/tap. Offering tastings or free samples could prove instrumental in overcoming the hesitancy of risk-averse customers uncertain about quality, whether they’re playing it safe or feeling more adventurous.


Draught cocktails may not be a ‘one size fits all’ offering in terms of catering to different venue types. In the recent webinar ‘The Last Call: Bartender Insights in Australia’ Nick Tesar, Creative Director of Drinks of Four Pillars Gin said “different venues have different requirements”, highlighting how brands and suppliers should be considering who the draught offering might appeal to more, and which venues would be more suited to this cocktail type. For example, in busier venues, draught cocktails would allow a wider and more exciting offering, whilst not compromising wait times for consumers.


Ultimately, it’s imperative for drinks brands, suppliers, and operators to align themselves closely with consumer perceptions as more venues incorporate draught/tap cocktails into their offerings. Stakeholders can enhance consumer engagement and drive a more receptive market for these convenient serves by focusing on classic and popular cocktails and devising low-cost trial opportunities



James Phillips, Client Solutions Director  – ANZ said: “Consumer awareness of draught/tap cocktails and mixed drinks isn’t in question. But their perceptions of quality present both a challenge and an opportunity to the industry. Brands, suppliers, and operators can transform these perceptions and create a thriving environment for cocktail innovation by emphasising classic offerings and optimising the bartender influence. It’s a call to action to adapt and thrive in a consumer market and drink category ripe for change.”


The upcoming OPUS survey will take a deep dive into consumer opinion and drivers for draught/tap cocktails and mixed drinks in the On Premise. Furthermore, the latest and comprehensive insights into the RTD (Ready to Drink) category will equip drinks brands, suppliers, and venue operators to shake things up in this dynamic segment.


To learn more about crafting a winning draught/tap cocktail and Mixed Drinks strategy, tracking consumer perceptions and interactions with this trend in On Premise in 2024, get in touch here, or download more information and examples of the data and insights included in the OPUS survey here.  

Recent posts:

Share post


Subscribe to our newsletter

Access the latest On Premise news and reports by signing up below.