Weekly Newsletter from PROOF Insight

15 September 2023

This week: The Future of Cocktails; Dynamic drinks pricing; Rugby World Cup chaos

Research news

The Future of Cocktails: How important is alcohol content to cocktail drinkers?

PROOF’s latest Intelligence report – The Future of Cocktails – reveals the importance of alcohol content in cocktails. Alcohol content is the 4th most important functional driver into the cocktails category, with 52% of cocktail drinkers listing it as an important consideration against 43% of all alcohol drinkers.

However, when it comes to knowing the ABV content of their favourite cocktails, drinkers fail to pick up the variation between serves. They were generally aware that Pimm’s and Pina Colada are among the lower-strength cocktails but widely underestimated the alcohol content of Margarita and Espresso Martini. Drinkers also thought an Old Fashioned was half as strong (13.4%) as it really is (29.5%).

The Future of Cocktails also revealed cocktail drinkers’ desire to see alcohol content on menus. 45% of cocktail drinkers wanted to see it, making it the third most crucial factor behind flavour descriptors and a complete list of ingredients. There is a debate to be had around how alcohol content is best displayed on a cocktail menu. ABV is largely understood by consumers and gives them a sense of how strong the taste of alcohol will be, but without volume, it doesn’t tell the consumer how much alcohol is actually in the cocktail. On the other hand, units take into account volume but are generally less well understood and, without volume, don’t tell the consumer how strong the taste of alcohol will be.

PROOF is presenting a webinar presenting the key findings of their new report on Thursday 21st of September from 4-5 p.m.
Click here to register for the webinar

Sources: PROOF Intelligence – The Future of Cocktails

Industry news

Stonegate implements ‘dynamic’ drinks pricing

Implemented in 800 of its 4,000 venues, the price of drinks rises during weekends and evenings, to cover the cost of additional staff, licensing requirements and security, whilst deals are available at quieter times. The Coach House in central London sees 20p added to a pint of beer price. Stonegate has received some negative press from the likes of Campaign for Real Ale, whilst a previous YouGov study suggests 71% of UK consumer oppose dynamic ticket pricing for live events.

Sources: The Times, Financial Times

Poor organisation disrupts the Rugby World Cup’s opening round

In the lead up to South Africa vs Scotland on Sunday, bar-staff at Marseille’s Stade Velodrome appeared under-trained and under-equipped. Behind one of the stadium’s largest bars, Asahi – the only alcoholic beverage available – was improperly poured from just 4 taps attached to quarter barrel kegs, leading to a significant amount of wasted beer and queues of over an hour. Similar problems were reported during Argentina vs England in Marseille on Saturday, as well as Ireland vs Romania in Bordeaux.

Sources: PROOF Insight

Strange brews & news

Portuguese roads run red

Two ruptured tanks at Destilaria Levira unleashed a crimson torrent that cascaded down the sloping streets of São Lourenço do Bairro, Portugal. The substantial volume of wine was initially destined for conversion into alcohol as part of the government’s “crisis distillation” initiative. Though the exact cause of the breach remains a mystery, cleanup operations are underway.

Sources: Decanter, BBC News

Investments, acquisition & openings

  • Bacardi Limited acquires super premium mezcal brand Illegal Mezcal
  • TRG to pay Big Table Group £7.5m to unload leisure division, which includes the Frankie & Benny & Chiquito brands, to their rival
  • St Austell acquires The Bath Pub Company’s four sites, taking its managed estate to 43
  • Molson Coors strengthens investment in Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s ZOA energy drink brand
  • Molson Coors also acquires Blue Run Spirits as part of its ‘Beyond Beer’ strategy
  • Rosa’s Thai opens its first Scottish site in Glasgow this week, with an Edinburgh site to follow in October
  • Camm & Hooper has opened an event space in London Waterloo
  • Indian street food concept Mowgli is expanding into Suffolk

Sources: Drinks International, Restaurant, Propel

Product launches & campaigns

  • BrewDog Distilling Co launch their Wonderland Cocktails RTD range in Brewdog bars this week
  • Bombay Sapphire & fashion designer Christian Siriano create a couture collection with designs inspired by classic gin cocktails
  • DrinkWell launch Lean Brew, a low-calorie, gluten free Pilsner
  • Just Eat is trialling carbon labelling with 12 restaurants to drive sustainable food choices
  • Brave New Spirits has released a new batch of whiskies as part of its Cask Noir series
  • Samuel Gulliver’s has released a new whisky – The Fine Drop – celebrating 20 years since England won the 2003 Rugby World Cup
  • The Lost Explorer Mezcal has continued its partnership with member’s club Annabel’s, aiming to inspire action and raise awareness of reforestation in the Amazon rainforest

Sources: Beverage Daily, The Spirits Business, Propel

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