A more optimistic outlook is being reported at the nation’s restaurants and bars, according to restaurant research firm Technomic’s 2012 BarTAB (Trends in Adult Beverage) report.
Sales of spirits, wine and beer in restaurants, bars and other licensed on-premise locations increased 4.9 percent to reach $93.7 billion in 2011 and projections called for continued growth in 2012. While on-premise consumption by volume declined slightly in 2011 (-1.1 percent), it also was expected to grow in 2012. On-premise consumption accounts for one-quarter of total adult beverage volume and slightly less than half of the total dollars spent on spirits, wine and beer.
“The on-premise dollar growth is driven by a combination of price increases and consumers once again calling for premium and above-premium brands at the bar,” said Donna Hood Crecca, senior director at Technomic.
“Cost remains a factor for some, but as they come back to restaurants and bars post-recession, consumers are satisfying their pent-up demand for favorite drinks and exploring new adult beverages. They’re really digging into the more unique aspects of many categories. This is good news for operators and for adult beverage brand marketers, as bars and restaurants are where new brands are built and existing brands can continue to engage consumers.”
Carol Wight, CEO of the New Mexico Restaurant Association, said she hadn’t seen any numbers that would show if consumption has increased in the state, nor has she heard anything from her membership relating to the topic.
“Looking at 2012 and beyond, we see continued growth, although the evolving economic situation will ultimately influence 2013 performance across the on-premise segments and the beverage categories,” noted David Henkes, vice president and adult beverage practice leader at Technomic. “The dynamics impacting the on-premise market are diverse, ranging from consumer confidence in the economy to the latest flavor craze. Both operators and suppliers need to strategize against the trends to succeed.”