Break-out Bubbly

Champagne and sparkling wine are on a roll lately, outpacing wine overall for a 4.1% total volume increase in 2014, with continued growth underway this year. On-premise, however, the story is quite different: The category barely gained volume, posting a mere 0.4% increase, according to our recently completed study, On-Premise Wine: Opportunities, Challenges and Innovations. Why […]

Irish for More than a Day

Everyone’s Irish today, and like good Irishmen, many will dutifully be imbibing Irish whiskey. Calls for the spirit spike around the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, but Irish whiskey is holding strong to its designation as the fastest-growing spirits category. Its rate of expansion appears to have slowed, but the growth is off a larger base; […]

Adult Beverage Consumers: Flush yet Frugal?

Consumers are feeling more financially comfortable this holiday season, which is good news for the adult beverage industry. Recent research from Technomic and American Express finds that two-fifths of consumers say they are “living comfortably” or “very well off,” up from about one-third of consumers surveyed in the same month last year. With gas prices […]

Tapping into Adult Beverage Trends for Differentiation

Strolling through the bustling neighborhood of restaurants and bars in Long Island’s Huntington, NY, Saturday evening, I found my attention captured by a sidewalk sandwich board boasting “12 Wines on Tap.” The restaurant’s windows were open, revealing a warm, inviting and fairly busy bar. Intrigued by the wines on tap and reassured by the number […]

Table Wine: Crowd Control

The competition among table wine brands—especially in the $10–$20 retail price range—continues to intensify in 2014. More than 200 new table wines came onto the market last year, and 80 have been introduced as of June 1 of this year, according to our DRINK New Product Tracker. From new labels targeting specific demographic groups to […]

Thinking Outside the Glass

My colleague David Henkes and I have been talking about the “take-share environment” a lot recently. Thanks to continued economic sluggishness, low consumer confidence and, earlier in the year, the weather, 2014 is another year in which the primary growth opportunity for on-premise beverage professionals is in taking share from competitors. For restaurant, hotel and […]

Whiskey: Is the Future Clear?

Bourbon, Tennessee and rye whiskey are making headlines lately, and with good reason. The storied, flavorful and sometimes hard-to-find American spirits are on fire, as their inherent attributes are exactly what many consumers are thirsting for today. The once-illegal stepchild of the distilling industry—corn whiskey, also known as moonshine—also is growing. In fact, it’s the […]

On- and Off-Premise: A Closer Connection

The connection between what consumers drink in bars and restaurants and what they purchase for at-home enjoyment appears to be strengthening. According to our soon-to-be released 2014 SpiritsTAB Report, more than two-fifths of consumers (44%) agree that they enjoy the same brands at home as they do in a restaurant, bar or other commercial establishment, […]

Mango Makes Its Mark in Spring Drinks

Back in December, we identified mango as an emerging cocktail flavor for 2014. As we enter spring, mango indeed is making headlines in adult beverages: Mango Moscato is the featured flavor of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers’ new wine shake, which drew national attention when it was announced last week. And AB InBev this month debuted the […]

Starbucks After Dark

The announcement last week of a national expansion of the Starbucks Evenings program—which involves offering beer, wine and small plates after 4 p.m. at select locations—raises the bar on the competition for the on-premise drink occasion. Tested in one Seattle location in 2010, Starbucks Evenings began expansion in 2012. Currently, 26 stores in six markets […]