Rising temperatures coincide with Cocktail velocity boost in the US

Consumer cocktail preferences are changing as summer heats up and mid-week is driving velocity growth, CGA by NielsenIQ’s Cocktail Sales Tracker reveals.
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Performance in the most recent quarter of this year sees the average outlet earn over $13,500 from cocktail sales, which is an +11% increase from Q1. While average prices are up +4% from the previous quarter, average check value is down -1%. This increase in velocity can be solely attributed to traffic, which sees a +14% rise. This is good news for the On Premise, and for suppliers understanding the details of the growth is key to maximizing the cocktail opportunity. 


CGA’s Cocktail Sales Tracker is an industry-first data-led tracker revealing the sales dynamics of the cocktail market and enables suppliers to track all the core metrics over time and identify new opportunities from trending cocktail performance within the market. 


Exploring daily performance across the week, data highlights that Saturday, as expected, saw the largest velocity on average ($3,300) but interestingly all the growth occurred on the other days of the week – with midweek preforming particularly well, (Wednesday and Thursday having a +22% and +24% velocity increase respectively). Early evening and late night were the best performing dayparts compared to the previous quarter (+15% and +20% respectively), as the days become longer, and consumers choose to stay out that bit later. 


As we enter the summer months, research suggests that consumer cocktail preferences change – the Mojito has overtaken Old Fashioned as the 4th most popular cocktail this quarter. However, the biggest jump in the top 30 cocktails is with Piña Colada, which moved from the 17th to 9th most popular cocktail type, with an +87% increase in traffic. This rise is most pronounced in New York, specifically in the last 4 weeks of the quarter.  


This trend is maintained when considering total cocktails by state – in Q1, warmer states like California and Nevada recorded the highest velocity and while they are still on top in Q2, this gap has been shortened with Illinois (+37%) and New York (+28%) heating up and performing best vs Q1.). Again, this boost is driven by traffic with Illinois seeing an increase of +43% and New York an increase of +29%.  


Interestingly, Illinois and New York do not follow the total US trend for dayparts – Breakfast/Brunch experiences the highest growth in both states for Q2 (+95% and +33% increase in velocity), where Bellini’s and Mimosa’s are the top two cocktails. Knowing how each market reacts to the seasonal changes can help suppliers identify areas of opportunity and target consumers more effectively. 


Matthew Crompton, regional director – North America, said “The changing dynamics of consumer preferences are coming through in the cocktail tracker. The Summer presents ample opportunities for beverage suppliers to maximise these shifts in preferred serves to compliment occasions and changes in the weather – and understanding these trends will be key to building a winning cocktail strategy in the On Premise.” 


CGA’s Quarterly Sales Tracker is available to purchase now. Delivered as a quarterly report, the tracker is powered by CGA’s BeverageTrak, and ensures suppliers can understand the evolving cocktail sales dynamics over time and maintain a winning cocktail strategy.   


For more information on the Cocktail Sales Tracker, click here, or contact Matthew Crompton at Matthew.Crompton@cgastrategy.com  


Source: CGA BeverageTrak Cocktails Q2 report 

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