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Spirits And Wine Continue To Steal Share From Beer Sales On-Premise

Spirits And Wine Continue To Steal Share From Beer Sales On-Premise

Norwalk, Conn., (January 21, 2020) – On-premise consumption of beverage alcohol overall was largely flat in 2018, decreasing nearly 1%, according to the Beverage Information Group’s 2019 Cheers On-Premise Handbook.

Although the distilled spirits and wine categories continued to steal share from beer within the on-premise segment in 2018, their growth rates of 1.7% and 1.1%, respectively, did not make up the difference beer lost in volume (1.3%) due to beer's high share of the total alcohol category.

American Whiskey, Tequila, Cognac and Irish Whiskey contributed to the liquor category’s growth, as these segments promote heritage themes, quality, value, innovation and variety. Imports and the sparkling segment have been driving growth in the Wine category. 

The increase in delivery and off-premise business has been putting a crimp in beverage alcohol sales for full-service restaurants. Also hurting alcohol revenue: the fact that consumers are drinking less for a variety of reasons, from financial and social to health and wellness.

A recent Lightspeed/Mintel survey found that 18% of respondents are drinking alcoholic beverage at bars or restaurants less often compared to a year ago. Of those, 48% say that they’re drinking less in general.

Consumers are also gravitating toward healthier drinking experiences as evidenced by products promoting natural ingredients, low-ABV or zero-proof “mocktails.” In fact, self-awareness and staying in control are key motivating factors for many younger consumers opting not to drink at all or limit their alcohol intake during a night out.

While many restaurant industry experts predict that delivery and other off-premises dining will continue to gain market share, the flipside is that customers will crave the social connection of the dine-in experience. As such, they’ll expect a big experiential bang for their buck.

Restaurants that offer unique experiences will likely dominate in the next decade; the experience may be the most important part of the drink or the meal.

About the 2019 Cheers On-Premise Barometer Handbook

The Beverage Information Group’s 2019 Cheers On-Premise Barometer Handbook is a comprehensive source of information on U.S. on-premise trends. It includes consumption and projection information by category and by market, tracks leading brands and consumer preferences and demographics. The 2019 Cheers On-Premise Handbook, Spirits Edition, Wine Edition and Beer Edition are available at or by calling Sherai Falcon at 760-905-2336.

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