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Spirits Remain Resilient in On-Premise; Beer and Wine Disappoint, According to the 2023 Cheers BARometer On-Premise Handbook

Spirits Remain Resilient in On-Premise; Beer and Wine Disappoint, According to the 2023 Cheers BARometer On-Premise Handbook

Marina Velez | November 29, 2023

Minneapolis, Minn., – The Distilled Spirits industry remained resilient in 2022, and the best performing beverage alcohol segment in the on-premise sector, posting growth of 1.7%, comparable to pre-pandemic growth levels. Spirits have rebounded quicker than wine and beer, as consumers are more likely to splurge on a special drink when they go out.

Innovation and line extensions that resonate with consumers’ changing tastes, and premium offerings, along with an increased focus on aged expressions have helped elevate the category. The spirits segment on-premise growth momentum has continued to drive the ongoing recovery of the hospitality industry, partly to consumers’ perception that drinking spirits at bars and restaurants enhances special occasions or the celebratory mood and adds to the overall experience, more so than wine or beer.

All but two spirits categories exhibited gains in the on-premise. Tequila and American Whiskey are the segments leading the on-premise comeback by promoting heritage themes, authenticity, high-end quality value, innovation, and variety, which drives consideration amongst consumers.

Interestingly, a consumer survey conducted in late 2022 for the National Restaurant Association (NRA) found that consumers are more likely to drink a cocktail in a restaurant than at home. Thirty-four percent of adults age 21+ surveyed said they will drink a cocktail with a meal at a restaurant, but only 21% say they do so at home. Millennials (44%) are the most likely to order a cocktail or mixed drink in a restaurant, followed by Gen Xers (35%).

The Wine industry continued to face challenges in 2022 with the on-premise sector declining by -1.2% with case volume below pre-pandemic levels.  “A key issue for wine today is that many younger adults consider wine to be a special-occasion drink. The wine industry hasn’t been able to expand that mindset to grow wine among younger adults of legal drinking age. It also doesn’t help that many consumers are drinking less overall, not to mention the fact that wine is not connecting with younger and multicultural consumers the way that other categories, such as spirits, have”, says Marina Velez, Research Director at the Beverage Information Group.

The Beer industry was stagnant in 2022 in the on-premise, posting a mere growth of 0.5% with case volume well below pre-pandemic levels.  Any growth in the on-premise beer industry can be primarily attributed to positive momentum within the FMBs, imports, and craft categories, as all the other beer segments posted losses.


About the 2023 Cheers BARometer On-Premise Handbook

The Beverage Information Group’s 2023 Cheers BARometer On-Premise Handbook is a comprehensive source of information on U.S. on-premise trends in the spirits, wine and beer categories. 

Order this publication at or by contacting Sherai Falcon at or 763-383-4400 ext. 4423.

about the author

Marina Velez

Research Director, EPG Specialty Information

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