Varied drinks menus remain essential to Nightclubs

Nightclub specific channel research by CGA concludes that the channel visitor is not only diverse, but has tastes which are just as expansive.

While many venues were hit in the last year, nightclubs have had a particularly difficult battle. When other venues gradually reopened, nightclubs remained closed and then struggled with capacity restrictions. Has association with risk impacted a true return to their previously spirited atmosphere?  


However, there is hope for venues’ survival as consumers desperately want to see a return to normality and many people are seeking to embrace more dynamic and thrilling occasions than before. 


With this in mind, CGA have explored what the core needs are for nightclub drink offerings, and it turns out – it’s diversity. 


Consumers visiting nightclubs are demographically varied. Nightclubs attract a broad age group, 22% of the 21-34 year age group typically visited a nightclub prior to Covid-19 and 15% of 35-54 year olds. With a significant number of 24-35 year olds, there is the opportunity to capture more than just students or those early in their career and tap into a working population who may be more lenient on spend. With the threat to these relationships from caution and quality of occasion, any offering needs to be well rounded to satisfy a variety of consumers when they return – which will allow frequent visitation to return.  


Beyond consumer types, nightclubs can be split into premium and casual style which once again highlights a different opportunity for consumers and occasions. As one example, premium nightclub visitors have a more even spread across occasion types for visiting the channel, suggesting a more rounded occasion approach is needed than in casual nightclubs. There is also a higher affinity for the romantic occasion in the channel, which requires a different offering and discounts than one for a large group occasion (which is another leading reason for visitation). A romantic offering may focus on premiumization or shared serves, while a large group occasion seeks to encourage repeat group purchase by offering multiple products together.  


Comparative to other channels, liquors and spirits have marked leads in this venue, 46% of visitors drink liquors/spirits, followed closely by cocktails (40%) and beer (40%). This is significant, as it highlights how important a broad spirits offering is here over any other channel. Unlike other channels, where vodka and whiskey clearly lead the way, for nightclubs there is a big tequila opportunity too.  


Moreover, the types of popular cocktails are much more balanced here compared to other channels; consumers have a wider cocktail repertoire within nightclubs. 59% want to see a wide range of different brands and drinks so they have a choice when in nightclubs. 


Finally, nightclubs have the 2nd highest percentage of visitors (out of channels sampled) that are very likely to pay extra for a better-quality drink, showcasing the importance of offering premium/high quality brands to capitalize on the trade up opportunity. 


The clear take away is that nightclubs are dynamic venues and as such, need a rounded offering to capture many occasions. While venues were cutting down on menus early as restrictions lifted, this could be a damaging approach to the nightclub space and keeping a broad menu will be essential to truly remind consumers how to enjoy this channel.  

Senior client manager, Tom Graham suggests “Spirits suppliers should be looking to nightclubs to engage consumers with that pent up demand to celebrate and party. Given the varied nature of occasions and venue types, a multi serve approach is needed, with cocktails, spirit/mixers and shots all proving important, but beer maintaining significant popularity; catering to all of these, should stand suppliers in good stead to succeed in nightclubs.” 

CGA’s Channel Strategy Research provides a comprehensive view of consumers from 11 channels in a core and deep dive offering. To find out more about CGA’s channel strategy research and how it can assist in positioning your brand or category in different channels, please contact Matthew Crompton at .  



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