As the Cocktail category continues to flourish around the world, operators and suppliers have some great opportunities to capture sales in Ireland’s on-trade —but effective strategies demand a detailed understanding of the market, it believes.
Here are five insights from CGA by NielsenIQ that reveal the size of the prize and drinkers’ preferences.
1 A third of consumers opt for cocktails
Cocktails have surged in popularity in Ireland since the end of the Covid-19 restrictions. CGA’s Opus shows that more than a third (36%) of consumers now drink them in the on-trade —a sharp eight percentage points rise in just 12 months. A third (34%) of these Cocktail drinkers say they’re buying more Cocktails than they were a year ago – a good illustration of the pace of growth in mixed drinks.
2 Classics remain top choices…
The list of preferred Cocktails in Ireland’s on-trade is led by tried-and-trusted favourites. More than half of drinkers prefer classic serves like the Mojito.
3 … with strawberry the favourite flavour
Opus data also show that fruity flavours dominate Cocktail drinkers’ preferences. Strawberry is their top flavour followed by Passionfruit and Raspberry.
4 Big opportunities in special occasions
Nearly half (45%) of Irish consumers say they choose Cocktails over other drinks categories because they see them as a treat. Meeting the needs of people who’re happy to spend on special occasions can unlock maximum sales.
5 Price matters
While quality is crucial, CGA’s research also highlights the importance of value. Price is the number one barrier to consumers purchasing Cocktails so changing their image as an expensive choice can help broaden the customer base – something that will become even more important as the cost-of-living crisis mounts.
Cocktails have been a boom category in the on-trade for several years now, explains Sian Brennan, CGA by NielsenIQ’s Ireland Client Director – and there’s no sign of the growth easing.
“Optimising range is key to success for operators,” she says, “so it’s vital to find the right balance of quality and value and of classics and new Cocktails. Competition in mixed drinks is intense and operators and suppliers that stay on top of drinkers’ changing tastes and motivations have an invaluable head-start in the battle for market share.”
CGA’s Mixed Drinks Report is available now containing deep insights into consumers’ interaction with the mixed drinks category across hospitality venues in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.