Competition for alcohol sales at the bar to escalate in 2017

New report from Technomic and Beverage Marketing Corporation finds consumer drink occasions flat

CHICAGO, Dec. 6, 2016—The outlook for drink sales in restaurants and bars calls for more intense competition among on-premise venues and alcohol brands in 2017. According to the new On-Premise Intelligence Report jointly developed by Technomic and Beverage Marketing Corporation, consumer occasions involving a call for alcohol are not growing, resulting in flat total adult beverage volume growth. However, dollar sales continue to increase as consumers gravitate towards more premium spirits, wine and beer products.

“Consumers are favoring more expensive selections such as craft and imported beer and higher-end whiskeys when ordering drinks, and do indicate they’re spending more now on drinks in restaurants and bars,” says Donna Hood Crecca, Associate Principal at Technomic, Inc. “Drink price increases also play a role — nearly half of on-premise operators report raising adult beverage menu prices in 2016, and many expect to do so in 2017.”

The report reveals that spirits is the only adult beverage category achieving volume gains in restaurants and bars. “Spirits continues on its growth trajectory,” observes Eric Schmidt, Director, Alcohol Research at Beverage Marketing Corporation. “Whiskey is a growth driver in on-premise, primarily due to momentum in American and Irish whiskeys. Vodka remains the largest-volume category and is now returning to growth, but aged spirits are really trending in restaurants, bars and other on-premise locations. We’re also tracking notable growth in aged tequilas and Cognac.”

In fact, Schmidt says, the five fastest-growing alcohol brands in restaurants and bars are all spirits labels, and three are whiskeys:

Fastest-growing On-Premise Adult Beverage Brands

BrandCategoryVolume Change 2016*
Tito's HandmadeVodka35.5%
Don JulioTequila17.2%
The BalvenieScotch whisky16.7%
Tullamore DewIrish whiskey14.3%
JamesonIrish whiskey12.2%

Beer remains the most-consumed type of alcohol in restaurants and bars, however, and wine ranks second. Both are growing in dollar sales, according to the report.

The On-Premise Intelligence Report includes channel, category and brand performance metrics, consumer and operator insights, as well as menu trend information developed via primary research conducted by Technomic and Beverage Marketing Corporation.

The complete report is available for purchase by contacting

For media inquiries regarding the report, contact

About Beverage Marketing Corporation
New York City-based Beverage Marketing Corporation is the leading consulting, research and advisory services firm dedicated to the global beverage industry. Visit us at http://www.beveragemarketing.com.

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