After the lockdowns of the last two years, CGA’s On Premise Impact Report suggests that the sector will enjoy boom times ahead, with premiumisation a crucial factor.

Consultancy firm CGA released its On Premise User Study (OPUS) as part of a fleet of wider insights contained in its new ‘toolkit’.

The toolkit will contain CGA’s ‘Outlet Index’, described as ‘world leading On Premise outlet database which tracks every licensed venue, name, address and CGA’s proprietary outlet segment in close to 50 countries.’ This index is currently in the phased launch stage.

In June, the consultancy firm will release its BeverageTalk tool, which they say is a ‘unique sales tracking solution that will allow suppliers to understand how their brands sell in bars and restaurants across Australia by the hour.’

And in September, CGA plans to release On Premise Measurement, which is described as a ‘fully projected, statistically robust service will provide the most accurate view of manufacturer and brand share at a total market level and at essential market breaks and outlet segments.’

On Premise Impact Report

Amongst the analysis released by CGA is the inaugural edition of On Premise Impact Report, described as ‘an up-to-the-minute monthly study of consumers across the country.’ This on-going analysis contacts a thousand Australian on-premise visitors every month, to gauge existing sentiment and their intentions for future on-premise visits.

Introducing the study, CGA’s Managing Director for Americas and Asia Pacific, Scott Elliott said: “It’s clear that the Australian consumer is keen to not only return to normal On Premise behaviour, but many intend to make up for lost time.”

The report found that 91 per cent of Australians have visited the on-premise since the year began, with 89 per cent saying they plan to continue visiting for the rest of the year. 48 per cent of those surveyed plan to visit bars and restaurants with at least the same frequency as in 2021, while 41 per cent expect to visit on more occasions.

Premiumisation trend continues

“A significant proportion of Australians are now heading back into the channel with a treat mindset, looking for celebratory and experience-led occasions. Now is the time for sophisticated suppliers to really lean-in to help their customers maximise this opportunity,” Elliott added.

The study contains several eye-catching figures of on-premise owners and operators, with perhaps the foremost being the finding that ’60 per cent of on-premise visitors say they are likely to pay more for what they perceive as a better quality drink.’

Additionally, CGA found that over half (52 per cent) of these consumers would be willing to ‘trade-up’ to a more premium product following a recommendation from a bartender or server. These figures speak to the “treat mindset” described by Elliott.

These findings confirm the general perception that premiumisation, and staff training, are increasingly important factors affecting on-premise consumer behaviour.

Brand training vital

In a statement to press, CGA said: “The major enablement to recommendation and brand advocacy is training.”

CGA’s analysis extended to bar-staff and servers, with 61 per cent of bartenders surveyed saying that they were more confident when making recommendations after brand training. 51 per cent said training meant they were more likely to make recommendations to patrons, while importantly for brands, one-in-five said training and produced menu changes in their venues.

As Elliott explained: “Staff training and advocacy programs, footfall-driving activations, promotional support, technology engagement to help customers navigate a massively changed Path to Purchase – these are all areas in which suppliers can proactively build investment strategies.”

Bar staff optimistic about on-premise

CGA’s analysis of hospitality job satisfaction also made for pleasant reading for the on-premise, following two bruising pandemic years. According to the study, 62 per cent of those surveyed feel optimistic about the industry’s future.

Training, of the sort described above, is an important factor in bartender satisfaction, with no less than 90 per cent reporting that they are happy to take part in supplier engagement programmes over the next year.

Most importantly for brands, however, is a strong connection with suppliers and distributors, as Elliott outlines: “Bartenders and bar owners have told us that the number one factor for listing a brand is the relationship with the supplier or distributor (44 per cent).”

“What we have seen in other on-premise markets that are a little further down the path to full re-opening is that the suppliers who most lean into this channel now gain space, share and customer loyalty once things return to some degree of normality,” he concluded.

See the full report at www.cgastrategy.com

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