Trends break fast and at “Refining Your Drinks Program Based on Local & Global Trends,” VIBE attendees will hear from Scott Elliott and Matthew Crompton from Nielsen CGA about what their exclusive on premise data reveals about the essential drink trends across Europe and the US.
Combining a variety of Nielsen CGA's research products, this session highlights key dynamics around concept supply, consumer drivers, the influence of bartenders as well as local POS sales and price performance. Attendees will take away clear opportunities for further refining their drinks offering across the different parts of the US while having a much clearer understanding of trends.
Matthew Crompton, client solutions director for Nielsen CGA responsible for the implementation of Nielsen CGA’s on-premise services in the US, took some time to preview the presentation with us.
VIBE: Matthew, tell me about the approach you’ll be taking at VIBE with all the data Nielsen has available.
Matthew Crompton: We’re planning to showcase what’s happening at a macro level with the data we have available from across the world with a focus on the UK and the US. And then we’ll go down to a very granular local view, in this case, a local view of somewhere in the San Diego market area to make it relevant. So it’s important to be aware of global trends but in order to really win you have to be informed about what’s important in your individual market. In the case of San Diego, we’re going to look at some of the different neighborhoods there to see how things can change and how those operations might be able to use data about global market trends to improve drinks program and sell more.
VIBE: There must be a lot there. How will you break it down?
Crompton: We’ll split it into five separate sections. First we’ll examine the top global trends affecting all on premise markets; then we’ll move into the outlet trends in on premise, the openings and closures of outlets like neighborhood bars, the increase of food halls for example and what’s new in terms of outlets, like casinos, stadiums and the growth of so many different types of on premise accounts. We’ll look at which ones are growing and why.
Then we’ll look at the consumer, who they are and where they are going, how and when they are willing to spend and when premiumization matters; then we’ll look at sales numbers of beverages—what’s hot and what’s not—and then during the last ten minutes we will examine that local example and try to tie everything together and see how the larger trends are playing out in the San Diego market.
VIBE: You mentioned the major trends between the UK and the US. Give me an example of how we differ.
Crompton: One thing that we see is a divergence is how gin is playing out. Gin & Tonic, especially within Western Europe and the UK, has helped fuel a "ginaissance" and the category has exploded in the last few years, bigger than vodka and whiskey in the UK now and growing at a substantial rate. Even pink gin has become one of the biggest sub-categories alone. That hasn’t quite taken off in the US at the same level for one reason or another. It may have something to do with the fact that some of the mixers that are used here instead of premium individual serves.
VIBE: What about the rocket that is hard seltzer?
Crompton: I was talking with some off premise counterparts and the size of hard seltzer is approaching the entire IPA category, unbelievable in terms of growth considering it didn’t exist four or five years ago. It hasn’t really taken off yet and is really mainly a US thing right now. It’s in its infancy in the UK and western europe market but I think once they properly launch there, what with the key macro trends around health and wellness, low-carb/low-cal and convenience, these are important in those markets as well.
It’s mainly been an off premise thing but that’s changing as well from last summer onwards. You’ll do well to go to a bar and not find hard seltzer on the menu and the next stage is hard seltzer on draft which opens a completely new type of audience.
VIBE: Anything else you can share in advance of the presentation?
Crompton: We do lots of consumer studies on cocktails and a lot of times in the industry we can get caught up in those fancy cocktails which you see in bars in New York and Los Angeles and markets like that. But whenever we do a survey of consumers on cocktails, it’s still very much the classics which come out on top with the average American consumer. The Margarita is far and away the most popular cocktail in every study we have. The Martini is also in there, but we also have the ability to look at cocktails sales by time of day as well and that shows how some cocktails do better in some day parts. Some are obvious, of course: Bloody Marys and Mimosas during the brunch time occasion, and others do better later at night.