A series of surveys in the US found that the economy there dipped just as the home bar trend was going into full swing and probably accelerated the trend with many consumers cutting back on drinking in bars and restaurants in favor of drinking at home instead to save money.
In fact, nearly two-thirds (62%) of US consumers surveyed a year ago for Technomic’s 2012 Trends in Adult Beverage reports said as much.
Donna Hood, Senior Director of Technomic Inc’s Adult Beverage Resource Group, states that there’s little doubt that home bartending certainly has caught on, “… with some foodies sharpening their own drink-mixing skills using guides written by top mixologists, articles in magazines like Imbibe and demonstrations on myriad television shows and even by enrolling in cocktail classes.
“Wine and beer enthusiasts are taking a similar route and expanding their at-home selections through self-education and exploration.
“This raises the bar for the on-premise professional as the patron walking into their establishment is undoubtedly a much more informed customer.
“But has the home bar gone upscale? Years ago, my father drank a super-premium imported vodka when in a bar but mixed a considerably less-expensive domestic in his cocktails at home. “Today, he’s retired and thriftier in general but I noted recently he selected the same imported brand in a retail store that he had ordered in a cocktail the night before.
“Apparently, he’s not alone. More than half (57 percent) of consumers agree completely or somewhat that they purchase the same brands for at-home consumption as they do when ordering in a bar or restaurant.”
And she ventures an educated guess that the incidence of consumers buying the same brands on- and off-premise is trending upward.
“For one thing, Millennial consumers (ages 21-35) reported purchasing the same brands both on- and off-premise at a slightly higher rate than their older peers, indicating this is a generation to whom brand is important no matter where they are imbibing.
“Suppliers are often looking to understand the connections between the on-premise and the retail purchase, usually because they’re assessing how to allocate resources. More than two-thirds (43 percent) of consumers told us they learn about new adult beverages first in bars and restaurants; again, that group skews towards Millennials. It appears that consumers are increasingly connecting the dots in their purchase habits.”