State of play in the US On Premise: Ten CGA insights

CGA by NIQ’s Matthew Crompton and Andrew Hummel gave the recent VIBE Conference in San Diego exclusive insights into major macro On Premise beverage trends, consumer behaviour and hot topics that all suppliers and operators should know about for the local market.

Both were joined on stage by a panel of expert speakers including Scott Brown, Director of Beverage Strategy & Analytics at Levy Restaurants, Dana Pellicano – President at Patina Restaurant Group and Thomas (Mac) McFarland Gregory III, VP of Food & Beverage at Pacifica Hotels.


Here are ten of the top takeaways.


1 Visitation and spend back to pre-COVID-19 levels

After months of disruption from the pandemic, consumers have largely returned to their usual On Premise behaviours. CGA’s REACH survey shows more than half (55%) of those surveyed in key global markets are now going out to eat weekly—just two percentage points behind pre-COVID-19 levels. Nearly as many consumers (51%) say they drink out at least once a week—up by 12 percentage points. Velocity of sales in the US has been consistently ahead year-on-year as well.


2 Cost of living crisis tightens spend

Four in five consumers globally have been either severely impacted (35%) or impacted to some extent (45%) by recent increases in the cost of living. This inevitably has a knock-on impact in the On Premise, and 24% of US consumers anticipate spending less over the next three months than they did during the previous three, while only 14% think they will spend more. Nevertheless, many remain eager to treat themselves with the affordable luxuries that restaurants and bars provide.


3 Outlet universe in growth

CGA’s On Premise data shows the US had just under 295,000 outlets at January 2023—a 2.6% increase from 12 months earlier. With 2.8% growth, independently run outlets were up more substantially than chains (1.5%). Nevertheless, total outlet numbers remain just short of pre-COVID-19 comparatives.


4 Drinking channel stronger than dining

A post-COVID-19 uptick in beverage-centric occasions has led to better-than-average growth in the drinking channel. Total drinking outlets increased by 3.6% in the 12 months to January, with neighbourhood bars (4.3%) and sports bars (4.5%) performing best. Growth in dining outlets was slower at 2.3%.


5 Bars and restaurants influence Off Premise choice

CGA’s On Premise Impact Consumer Research emphasises the power of bars and restaurants to influence people’s trial and loyalty. More than half (54%) say they have purchased brands in stores that they first tried in the On Premise. It’s an especially important channel for cocktails and craft or imported beer brands.


6 Imported beers up, hard seltzers down

Segment analysis highlights key trends in the beer segment—including share growth for imports (0.9 pp) over the last 12 months but drops for hard seltzers (0.2 pp) and craft (0.7 pp).


7 Tequila and red lead growth in spirits and wine

In the spirits category, whiskey and tequila increased their share by 0.2 and 1.0 pp respectively—partly at the expense of vodka, which dropped 0.7 pp. Tequila increased its share of the cocktail base market too. The wine market has also shown some interesting trends—including growth in share for red varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon (up 1.5 pp) at the expense of white ones like Chardonnay (down 1.6 pp).


8 Positive attitudes to technology

Two in three (66%) consumers responding to CGA by NIQ’s REACH survey think the advancement of technology will positively impact their future visits—especially by cutting the time spent ordering, queuing and paying. However, use of tech needs to be balanced with personal experiences, as many guests don’t want to compromise interaction with venue staff, including via beverage recommendations.


9 Endorsements influence choice

Celebrity recommendations are increasingly influential in consumers’ choices. Four in five (82%) say they would try a drink category they wouldn’t normally choose if they like the celebrity endorsing it, and nearly three quarters (71%) of them say they would pay extra as a result.


10 Non-alcoholic segment set for growth

Growing interest in health since COVID-19 is driving some important changes in beverage choices. Nearly one in seven (14%) consumers have purchased a non-alcoholic beer, wine, spirit or cocktail in the On Premise in the last three months.


To learn more about how CGA by NIQ’s suite of research sources and expert analysis can help suppliers and operators craft winning strategies in the US On Premise, contact Andrew Hummel, Client Solutions Director for North America, at

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