UK’s cocktail sales surge

Sales of cocktails in the UK have grown by over 10% over the last two years — and the Mojito remains the drinkers’ firm favourite.

These are among the insights in The Mixed Drinks Report 2014, CGA Strategy’s new survey of this significant market in the UK on-trade.

People are increasingly turning towards cocktails when going out for the evening. The report reveals that cocktail sales have grown by an impressive 10.8% in just two years but too few licensees seem to appreciate cocktails’ potential since just over one in five (22%) of the country’s on-trade venues currently serve them.

In a sector that’s seen considerable innovation in the content and presentation of drinks, it’s the timeless classic Mojito that remains the biggest-selling cocktail across the on-trade. Furthermore, other cocktail mainstays such as Pina Colada, Woo Woo and Sex on the Beach have grown as the category proliferates into more mainstream venues.

Contrary to some popular perceptions, however, it’s not just women who enjoy cocktails. CGA Strategy finds that the split between female (54%) and male (46%) drinkers fairly even.

In addition, amongst the core 18-35 demographic, cocktails are becoming a drink for all on-trade occasions, with consumers increasingly choosing to drink cocktails throughout the night, rather than just at the start.

Other key trends revealed in The Mixed Drinks Report include:

  • Cocktails are surging in popularity among young adults in particular. The proportion of under-35s who say they’ve bought a cocktail in the last week has jumped over the last year — from 36% to 43%
  • Bombs and pitchers of cocktails are especially popular. Three quarters (74%) of 18 to 24 year-olds have bought a bomb drink while nine in 10 (88%) in the same age range say they drink    pitchers
  • London is the capital of cocktails with more outlets serving them here than in any other region. Scotland, Yorkshire and Lancashire all have high concentrations too.

“Cocktails and the bars and pubs that serve them have been surging in popularity over the last few years and our latest research emphasizes just how integrated they’ve become to mainstream drinking,” says CGA Strategy ‘s Commercial Director Tom Lynch, “They present a terrific opportunity for bars and pubs to drive footfall and increase spend —but only if they can fully understand what customers want from a cocktail menu and give them a consistent experience every time.”

The 2014 Mixed Drinks Report is available from CGA Strategy on 0044 161 476 8330 or visit www.cgastrategy.co.uk.


Sign Up for Drinks Industry Ireland

Get a free weekly update on Drinks Industry trade news, direct to your inbox. Sign up now, it's free