As the cocktail category continues to flourish around the world, operators and suppliers have some great opportunities to capture sales in Ireland’s on-premise, but effective strategies demand a detailed understanding of the market.
Here are five insights from CGA by NielsenIQ’s suite of research services, which 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 Covid-19 restrictions.
CGA’s On-Premise User Survey shows that more than a third (36%) of consumers now drink cocktails in the on-premise – a sharp rise of eight percentage points in just 12 months.
A third (34%) of these cocktail drinkers say that they are 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-premise is led by tried-and-trusted favourites.
More than half of drinkers prefer classic serves, like the mojito.
3. Strawberry – The Favourite Flavour
OPUS data also shows that fruity flavours dominate cocktail drinkers’ preferences.
Strawberry is their top flavour, followed by passion fruit and raspberry.
4. Big Opportunities In Special Occasions
Meeting the needs of people who are happy to spend on special occasions can unlock maximum sales.
5. Price Matters
While quality is crucial, CGA’s OPUS 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 to 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-premise for several years now, and there’s no sign of the growth easing,” said Sian Brennan, CGA by NielsenIQ’s client director, Ireland.
“Optimising range is key to success for operators, 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.”