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August 29, 2018

Bar Drink Trends For 2019 & Beyond


Your Hedge Against The Delivery Challenge

Creative Energy has seen trends wax and wane but few have matched the growing trend of delivery within the foodservice channel. One hedge for maintaining and growing dine-in customers is a strong bar drink program. Think about it. Few will order a great martini from Grub Hub.

Major restaurant chains hire David Commer to discern the best bets for new bar drinks to boost their business. He shared his insights recently at the Flavor Experience, and whether you are a restaurant owner, bartender or have a passion for a great drink, I thought you would enjoy David’s advice on libations. Here is what’s trending:

Call It Barrel-Aged And They Will Drink – According to Datassentials, bar menus using the term “barrel-aged” is up +165% in just the past four years. The term is being used with everything from twisted teas to gin and cold brews to Manhattans and Old Fashioneds.

Beer & Wine Hybrids Are BIGDatassentials reports a 39% increase in the menuing of beer and wine-based cocktails. Some trendy bars are combining gin with sparkling wine with melon and a cucumber slice, or rum with prosecco and fruit juices. Start experimenting.

Younger Customers Looking For Complex Flavors – Nearly 25% of drinkers say that they are consuming less alcohol compared to last year and it is highest among Millennials. When younger customers do order drinks, they seek complex flavors and preparation methods such as “smoked”, “toasted” or “pickled”. They are also drawn to bars with broad arrays of beers that offer a unique find of a new favorite at a more affordable price.

Think Healthy Halos In Bar Drink Ingredients – Consumers now weigh calories and bloating along with the effects of headaches in their drinks of choice. Start encouraging that choice by including more fresh vegetable and fruit ingredients. Think carrot juice, cucumbers, beets and uniquely shaved vegetables as a topping.

Is Rosé The New White? – Sales of domestic premium rose’ wins are up by as much as 65% according to IRI. Millennial and Gen X customers love it. Boomers do not. The darker rose’ with a sweet or semi-sweet flavor are most popular. Formerly snubbed by aficionados, today it’s in the hands of the sheik.

Daypart Your Drinks – Undoubtably it began with the growth in brunch and breakfast all day. Operators are boosting profit with alcoholic drinks that up the alcohol from a little or non-alcoholic cocktails at breakfast and lunch and more through Midnight and beyond.

Cheers. You’ve taken a peek at what the best restaurants and bars are doing to up their game. A little innovation with these helpful tips can impact your dine-in sales and profitability.

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