Flavored Spirits Rule

Editor’s note: Make sure to check out all of the new flavors and emerging brands next week in the Emerging Brands Pavilion at the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show taking place on March 19 – 21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For more information visit NCBShow.com.

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Before you think about how flavors in spirits can continue to improve or remain a mainstay in your beverage program, you need to take an in-depth look at this current phenomenon.  Flavors are still on a very strong roll, extremely hot and evident on most if not all beverage menus in casual dining.  

Here are a couple of key facts to share along with some key leverage points to consider when utilizing flavored spirits in your beverage program.

Current Trends

  • Over 200 flavors, from citrus to wasabi and growing every day.  Flavors to excite the palate for all consumers of alcoholic beverages.
  • Flavored Spirits increased from 21% to 27% in U.S. category case shares over past 10 years. 
  • Beam Global reports that Pinnacle Vodka with over 30 flavors will introduce 4-6 new flavors this year.
  • Constellation Brands reports that 30% of all Svedka Vodka sales come from flavors.
  • Emerging brands coming on fast as flavors continue to grow.
  • Popular and mainstream flavors include Blueberry, Grape, Orange, Lime, Acai, Blackberry, Ginger, Pomegranate, Strawberry and Mango.
  • Newly emerging flavors include Lychee, Yuzu, Dragon Fruit, Blood Orange, Rambutan, Goji Berry and Lavender. 


Why the “Craze”

  • An unprecedented demand for “sweet” drinks and features that resonate well from flavored spirits.
  • Mixology has risen the bar in innovation and creativity in casual dining.  It creates excitement and brings a new buzz to adult beverage features. 
  • “NEW” has always been a key driver for beverage excellence and differentiation, especially over that last 2 years.
  • 80 Million Millennials and growing. Millennials possess the highest incidence of trying new adult beverages, therefore flavors “rock”.


Get In The Game

  • Place more mind share around flavors in your brand.  Insure you have a placeholder on your beverage planning calendar for new drink development.  Act upon it quickly so as not to lose out. 
  • Consider a seasonal approach for the holidays for short term wins.  Example -- Pumpkin Pie Martini or Peppermint Patty Shake. 
  • Challenge key suppliers to bring only the brightest ideation on flavors to your beverage leaders.  
  • Vodka is not the only flavor driver. Rum and Tequila are coming on strong.  Beam Global is introducing an infused lime in “Hornitos Lime Shot” by Sauza, in April.  


Market Flavors Well

  • If you provide bartenders with opportunity to promote flavors and use their creativity, watch out!  Set some basic guidelines.
  • Colorful pictures of flavored drinks on menus provides outstanding ‘eye appeal’ to guests.  
  • Use Social Media platforms to quickly market this craze.  You could literally build an LTO in 24 hours and make impact. Low risk, high reward.
  • Consumers use beverage and core menus when ordering beverages.  Take advantage and show your newest features with flavors. 

This craze in spirits has great momentum and provides your customers some unique twists in beverage offerings which will create excitement, intent to return and will impact your overall revenue and margin growth. 

There is no better time to join the Flavor game than NOW!


For a Complimentary Beverage Operations Assessment Contact George Barton
www.gBartonInnovations.com [email protected] 407-876-8529

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