Drink Sales Slowing in Restaurants and Bars, Finds Technomic
Weather, consumer shifts impact the on-premise channel, but pockets of growth persist.
CHICAGO, March 20, 2014
CHICAGO, March 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The overall softening in adult beverage is playing out more in restaurants and bars than at retail, according to recent analysis by Technomic. Adult beverage volume in the on-premise channel – comprised of restaurants, bars and other locations – contracted 1.3 percent, while retail volume declined 0.7 percent in 2013, according to Technomic's just-released Special Trends in Adult Beverage Report: 2014 State of the Industry.
"Consumers pulled back on drink occasions at restaurants and bars," says David Henkes, Technomic Vice President. "Wine and spirits were essentially flat on-premise, while beer declined. That said, there were categories and segments that did well on-premise, thanks to creative presentations and programs, and on-trend flavors and formats. Restaurant and bar operators have opportunities to position spirits, wine and beer offerings as a point of differentiation and grow sales going forward."
The unusually harsh weather conditions during the first two months of this year resulted in overall foodservice sales declining 3 to 4 percent nationally and 7 to 8 percent in weather-affected markets such as the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, according to Technomic analysis. As a result, projections call for drink sales in restaurants and bars to remain challenged in 2014, although Technomic Research Director Eric Schmidt sees continued growth in whiskey, craft beer and domestic table wine.
"These adult beverage categories, driven by unique and often food-friendly flavor profiles, are really relevant to today's consumer," he observes. "In the hands of the right bartender and promoted properly, these products can deliver on both experience and value. Although overall adult beverage volume will be challenged this year, we expect dollar growth from the ongoing consumer shift to more expensive categories, such as high-end whiskey and craft beer."
The 2014 State of the Industry Report is part of Technomic's Trends in Adult Beverage series, and provides a first look at in-depth national volume and sales information on spirits, wine and beer categories, leading brands and companies, as well as the consumer economic indicators influencing the industry, all presented with expert analysis and forecasting.
To purchase or learn more about the 2014 State of the Industry Report, or BeerTAB, WineTAB and SpiritsTAB, as well as other industry reports and services for adult beverage suppliers, including the online DRINK database, please visit Technomic or contact one of the individuals listed below.
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Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include numerous publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry.