Winning in Cocktails: Are you making the most of your social media channels?

In today's competitive beverage industry, a key driver of success lies in harnessing the power of social media and innovative presentation. CGA by NIQ reveals essential insights from across Europe that can help beverage brands capture market share, capitalize on the cocktail craze, and create unforgettable consumer experiences.

CGA’s OPUS (On Premise User Survey) demonstrates compelling regional preferences in drink choices and social media influence. In France, gin cocktails dominate, with almost half (45%) of consumers more likely to share drink photos on social media during Aperitivo occasions. In Germany, whiskey cocktails appeal to a fifth (20%) of consumers, who cite social media sharing and presentation as key reasons for choosing these drinks. In Italy, vodka is a favourite for nearly half (47%) of consumers, with over a third sharing drink photos online during Aperitivo occasions. The bold visual appeal of cocktails is particularly strong here (+21pp). 


The impact of presentation and glass design varies by region and venue type. In Greece, social media significantly boosts cocktail choices, with presentation in bars and hotels influencing consumer decisions. In Italy, aesthetically appealing cocktails in hotels, night bars, and disco pubs are most likely to be photographed and posted, with presentation elements like garnish and glassware accounting for over 25% of what consumers consider a perfect Aperol Spritz. Similarly, in Spain and Poland, presentation elements such as eye-catching glass design and the quality of the pour play crucial roles in influencing cocktail choices, especially in leisure and nighttime venues. 


Besides the clear influence social media has on consumers’ buying choices when out, it also encourages consumer advocacy when sharing photos of their drinks on social media platforms. This is especially the case in Poland and South Africa, both seeing +17pp in social media driven On Premise drink purchases, followed by Greece with +11pp. 


Tapping into bartenders’ frontline knowledge for unique perspectives into upcoming trends and influences is also important in helping drinks brands and operators target their audiences more effectively. The Global Bartender Report reveals bold and visually vibrant cocktails are at the forefront, with more than a third (35%) highlighting their importance, particularly in Italy where this trend over-indexes by +21 percentage points (pp). Alcohol-free spirit alternatives in non-alcoholic cocktails follow closely, with over a third (34%) of bartenders noting their significance. Agave-based cocktails, including tequila and mezcal, are also expected to gain traction, with nearly a third (31%) of bartenders anticipating their popularity. 


George Argyropoulos, Client Solutions Director, EMEA said: “Social media campaigns and content strategies present significant opportunities for both drinks suppliers and venue operators to capitalize on the cocktail craze. But they must grasp how social media impacts European consumers’ choices in the cocktail category, to supply to demand and pre-empt evolving preferences and trends. This is where data-driven insights give true value by identifying geographically tailored variations, designs for optimal appeal, acting as a catalyst for better-informed decision-making and likely influence of drink choices.” 


The in-depth analysis into the nuances of consumers behaviour and engagement with the cocktail category from the Global Bartender Report and OPUS are essential tools for drinks brands and operators aiming to amplify their social media marketing strategies. 


OPUS specializes in On Premise insights for the spirits category, including cocktail and mixed drink preferences. Trusted globally, it offers credible, actionable insights backed by expert deliverables, providing an intrinsic understanding of the beverage industry. 


The Global Bartender Report provides valuable insights to connect and build advocacy within the global bartender community. It explores bartenders’ preferences and trends worldwide while uncovering market-specific nuances to deliver customized recommendations for the dynamic On Premise sector. 


To find out more about CGA’s market leading research capabilities and how it can help your On Premise strategy, get in touch with us today 

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