The most expensive ingredient in the margaritas here at Adobo Grill isn’t the tequila. It’s the lime.
Costs for the fruit more than tripled in the past two months, squeezing profit margins before the biggest U.S. margarita bash of the year, Cinco de Mayo, according to George Ortiz, who helped start Abodo 14 years ago in the historic Old Town neighborhood, the home of The Second City comedy club and about a mile north of the Miracle Mile shopping district.
“We fresh-squeeze lime juice every day,” said Ortiz, 50. “We use it for table-side guacamole, fresh squeezed limes right there. We use it for ceviches. It’s a huge expense.”
Lime prices are surging as some growers in Mexico, which supplies about 97 percent of the fruit in the U.S., banded together to set prices after a crop disease ravaged trees. Americans spend about $2.9 billion annually on margaritas, which account for about 14 percent of the country’s cocktail sales, according to Technomic, a Chicago-based research firm tracking the food industry.
“Cinco De Mayo is by far considered the biggest day for margarita sales in the U.S.,” David Henkes, a vice president at Technomic, said April 23. “It will disproportionately impact higher-end restaurants and those that tend to make from-scratch margaritas. You may also see restaurants and bars promote other more profitable cocktails if lime prices stay high.” Continue reading
Pepsi surprised investors today with higher-than-expected earnings: Pepsi reported a net income of $1.22 billion in the first quarter of this year.
But don’t chalk the earnings up to sales of its famous soda. They’ve been flat. The real money is in chips. It seems we’re eating more of the chips Pepsi’s Frito Lay division makes, specifically Fritos and Doritos.
“The PepsiCo products, whether it’s chips or the other grab and go items they have certatinly fit well within the consumer’s need for on-the-go food” – David Henkes, Vice President at Technomic.
Henkes says Pepsi is also venturing into other types of beverages, like juices and teas. It also makes energy drinks, which sell for more than soda. With Pepsi snacks gaining popularity in developing countries like India, Henkes says a great deal of Pepsi’s future growth will be in new markets.
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Adult beverage suppliers rated as top performing partners by leading chain restaurant and hotel beverage professionals were recognized as Technomic presented the 2014 VIBE Supplier Awards during the VIBE Conference in Las Vegas last week. Continue reading
Despite an overall decline in spirits sales in the US on-trade, high-end whisky is expected to grow, according to a new report.
Technomic’s Adult Beverage Insights Group recently published a report showing that overall alcohol volumes decreased 1.3% in restaurants and bars in the US throughout 2013, compared to a 0.7% decline in the off-trade.
However, Technomic’s research director Eric Schmidt predicts there will be continued growth in whisky as well as craft beer and table wine in the on-trade in this year. Continue reading
It’s no surprise that alcohol consumption and watching pro sports go hand in hand. But that’s especially true for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Two Stanley Cups in four years and a stronghold on the city’s sports consciousness have bolstered the team’s official bar program, which has more than doubled in size to 217 locations since its launch in 2009.
Originally designed to reinforce the Hawks brand with young fans in the city, the network of watering holes now stretches beyond the six-county area to 61 bars downstate. Continue reading
Hotel happy hours used to bring in the hordes to drink and eat as much as they could at cheap prices. Now it seems that the pendulum is swinging the other way as more bar managers are developing premium priced signature drinks to lure in guests as well as local customers.
A December report by the consulting firm Technomic showed hotel operators forecast 4.4 percent growth in their food and beverage sales in 2014. “Of the segments we track, hotel operators are among the most optimistic,” said Donna Hood Crecca, the senior director for the adult beverage resource group at Technomic.
“A number of hotel and lodging operations such as Fairmont, Marriott and Kimpton now offer unique drink menus including signature cocktails along with extensive spirits, wine and beer selections. It’s clear some hotels are prioritizing adult beverages as a way to differentiate their properties and drive traffic and sales,” added Hood Crecca.
“Hotel operators see opportunity in adult beverages,” observes her colleague David Henkes, Vice President at Technomic and leader of its Adult Beverage Practice. “A creative and operationally-sound drink program executed across the various outlets of a hotel property can add both value and enhanced experience elements for guests, as well as high-profit sales, all of which are particularly important in this challenging environment.”
Return to a by-gone era?
Before Prohibition, the hot spots for cocktail innovation were at the big-city hotels, such as the original Waldorf, The Plaza, the Hoffman House and the Knickerbocker. After Prohibition, the alcohol industry was run by the gangsters and all those bartender craft skills were lost.
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Filed under Bar, Dave Henkes, Hotels, Liquor, lounge, Marketing, Millenials, Press Release, Skinny, Spirits, Wine