How to strategise for the top-ranking trade-up opportunity in the On Premise: Cocktails

As Ireland's On Premise experiences an upward surge in consumer interest in cocktails, CGA by NIQ’s recent Mixed Drinks Consumer Insights Report indicates a promising landscape.
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With the festive season in full swing, there’s still time for operators and suppliers to shake things up during the Christmas and New Year celebrations to capitalise on the escalating demand for cocktails.


The cocktail category has become an increasingly important focus for the Ireland On Premise. It’s now the third most popular drink category, ahead of wine and soft drinks, with a quarter of cocktail consumers ordering cocktails more often than they did a year ago.


Moreover, cocktails are the leading category in which consumers are willing to trade-up. In fact, a quarter of consumers are likely to trade-up within cocktails. This is because they perceive cocktails to be a quality choice that’s worth the extra cost.


With cocktail consumers typically being younger, high spending and going out more often than average, it’s a valuable trend to cash-in on. This demographic also over-indexes for increased frequency of drinking cocktails, setting it apart as not only influential for boosting sales and visits, but also an effective method for recruiting next generation visitors.


The Report provides invaluable insights into devising perfect cocktail strategies, from both a brand and venue perspective. It includes thought-provoking metrics around key factors such as:


  • Flavours – Berries, such as strawberries and raspberries, are the top flavour profile consumers are preferring, going up versus last year. Furthermore, pineapple and mango are also gaining notable traction.


  • Serves – Longer, high alcohol serves, such as Long Island Iced Tea and Zombie, are the top cocktail type. On the other hand, almost a quarter of consumers are choosing long and low strength spritz serves, like Aperol Spritz and Sangria.


  • Types – Classic recipes like Daiquiri, Mojito, Pornstar Martini and Margarita are a must have. In addition, signature serves unique to venues are popular amongst consumers who like to try different and bespoke options.


Another important buying motivator is occasion, with consumers agreeing they drink cocktails during both food and drink led visits. This amplifies the broad trade-up opportunity across occasions and also outlet types.


Sian Brennan, client director – Ireland said: The Mixed Drinks Consumer Insights Report Report unpacks strategic choices for the top-ranking trade-up opportunity in the Irish On Premise. It empowers suppliers, brand teams and category managers to win listings by offering a compelling trade-up opportunity to outlets, as well as targeting key consumer groups. Unlocking this opportunity requires a nuanced understanding of the ‘how’, ‘when’, and ‘who’ in mixed cocktail serves.”


The latest edition of CGA’s Mixed Drinks Report explores exclusive insights into the habits and preferences of mixed drinks consumers, revealing how to get ahead in an ultra-competitive market. Using CGA’s OPUS, the Mixed Drinks Report is a rich resource of data and insights that reveal how consumers are engaging with restaurants, pubs and bars to help suppliers and operators answer category, channel, occasion and brand questions and optimise sales and marketing strategies across Ireland and Northern Ireland. To learn more, email Sian Brennan at

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