PROOF: The Future of Cocktails Report, food prices rise, number of outlets contract
The Future of Cocktails – What do consumers want to see on menus?
When it comes to cocktail menus in the on-trade, there is a plethora of information that you could provide to the consumer ranging from ingredients to the story behind the cocktail. Deciding what information to put on your menu is key for bringing consumers into the cocktail category and therefore helping to drive value.
Over half (58%) of cocktail drinkers want to see flavour descriptors of each cocktail whilst the same percentage want to see a full list of the cocktails ingredients. For consumers, there is an inherent risk associated with cocktails; they may not have tried the cocktail before. Even if they have, there is variation between venues not seen in other categories such as beer, cider or wine. When a consumer sees a flavour profile they know they enjoy or an ingredient they are familiar with, then some of the risk behind choosing a cocktail is removed, encouraging them to enter the category.
The information consumers want to see on cocktail menus is not identical between different types of venue – i.e. the cocktail menu in a restaurant should not look the same as a cocktail menu in a cocktail bar. PROOF’s next Intelligence report – The Future of Cocktails – will reveal the other information that cocktail drinkers want to see on menus, and how this varies between venue types.
Sources: PROOF Intelligence Report – “The Future of Cocktails”
Food prices rise again in the on-trade but ease in the off-trade
Inflation rose YoY to 22.6% in June, edging closer to the record high of 22.9% in December 2022. There is some relief for consumers as inflation in supermarkets increased by just 0.4% during the same month. The on-trade has proven vulnerable; rising wholesale costs, energy bills and labour costs mean that many operators have had to pass on price rises. This has impacted consumer behaviour; eating out less often and drinking less quantity but better quality are some of the tactics consumers have employed to save money.
Sources: Propel, CGA
Number of outlets contracts by 1.1% from March to June 2023
Over 1,000 outlets closed between March 2023 to June 2023 leaving the UK with just under 100,000 licensed premises. The independent sector is most affected, losing 1.5% of sites while managed only 0.4%. This quarter, large venues were particularly affected by closures, with Odeon, Empire Cinemas and Mecca Bingo all announcing multiple site closures. The good news is the closure rate has slowed, as net closures in the first half of 2023 were less than half of the number in the first half of 2022 (3,841).
Sources: CGA AND Alix Partners Market Monitors July 2023, Daily Mirror, Sky News, WhichBingo.com
Strange brews & news
“Just popping to the loo” – how to get out of buying a round
PROOF’s research revealed a well-timed trip to the loo to be the most popular method of avoiding buying a round. Pretending to lose your wallet or receiving an urgent phone call proved to be popular techniques. Some claim to have gone even further, convincing a stranger to buy a round or even moving to a new city.
Sources: PROOF Pourtraits Survey June 2023
Investments, acquisition & openings
Sources: Propel, Langton Capital
Product launches & campaigns
Sources: Drinks Business, Spirits Business, Morning Advertiser