CGA’s Mixed Drink Report, which surveyed 1,000 British on-trade cocktail consumers, revealed that 67 per cent of drinkers are either very likely or quite likely to pay more for a higher quality cocktail.

This data comes as the price of cocktails has risen, with growing inflation and cost-of-living crisis takinghold in the UK. As such, consumers are placing a great emphasis on value and cost, with food and drink spend remaining prioritised as good ‘value for experience’.

Nineteen per cent of British consumers continue to drink cocktails out of home, a number that amounts to roughly nine million cocktail drinkers.

CGA’s report assessed cost expectations amongst drinkers in the on-premise, with drinkers expecting prices to rise in restaurants and nightclubs by £1.18 and £1.51 respectively, when compared with Q1 2021.

CGA also stated that ‘many consumers are undecided on the cocktail they will choose before visiting [the on-premise].’ However, the key motivating factors when buying cocktails were given as: flavour, ingredients, having already tried the drink, promotions and price vs other mixed drinks.

Nevertheless, price remains an important factor, even if it is not the most important, as CGA discovered. Over half (56 per cent) of consumers purchase a cocktail on promotion every time, or almost every time, they visit the on-premise. This figure represents a gain of eight percentage points when compared with Q1 2021.

Moreover, promotions also recruit new drinkers into the category, with 32 per cent of non-cocktail drinkers saying they’re more likely to be tempted into trying a cocktail by a promotion.

Phillip Montgomery, CGA’s Director of Client Services for UK & Ireland, believes the data shows that special offers are a key means of ensuring consumers continue to purchase cocktails in the near future.

“Many consumers are alleviating the rising cost of cocktails by focusing more on the availability of deals and promotions, as they assess the value outlets are offering,” Phillip said.

“So, offering cocktails at great value is important for operators and suppliers hoping to appeal to a much broader consumer base, rather than just competing for consumers who actively seek high quality cocktails.”

Ultimately, consumers seem likely to continue to purchase cocktails, provided they feel they are getting an experience that matches their expenditure, as the CGA report outlined: ‘Value is considered to be more important than price, however value doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper, but can be considered synonymous with quality.’

‘To this end, high-quality, premium cocktails that are part of a memorable experience will keep visitors coming back.’

As trends in Australia tend to follow those in the UK, operators will be heartened to see that cocktails remain front of mind for drinkers amid economic uncertainty.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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