Fewer drinks being sold in restaurants and bars

March 24 2014

One trend affecting restaurants and bars at the moment is that consumers are not ordering as many beverages as they used to. 

This could be due to diners having less disposable income to spend or alternatively choosing to drink at their house with friends or family.

It transpired adult beverage volume in restaurants, bars and other locations had decreased by 1.3 per cent. Retail volume also dropped by 0.7 per cent, according to Technomic. While wine and spirits remained consistent, beer declined in sales. 

Some of North America's restaurant takings were adversely affected by the recent inclement weather, meaning overall foodservice sales dropped by between three and four per cent. 

However, Technomic's vice-president David Henkes said some categories and segments had fared well in restaurants and bars, "thanks to creative presentations and programs, and on-trend flavours and formats".

He called for restaurant and bar operators to make the most of the opportunity to position spirits, wine and beer options "as a point of differentiation and grow sales going forward". 

It is expected alcoholic beverage sales in such establishments will remain challenged in 2014, but research director Eric Schmidt insisted such drinks were still "really relevant" to today's consumer, as a result of their unique flavours that complement the accompanying food. 

In addition, the food industry research firm is predicting high-end alcoholic drinks, such as whiskey and craft-beer, could rise in prominence soon, as part of the current consumer trend to turn to more expensive products. 

Technomic reported towards the end of February how millennials are taking a different approach to alcohol than their predecessors.

It is believed their choice of booze is mainly determined by the occasion, what food is available, their preference for a certain flavour and the people with whom they are socializing - as opposed to an identification with a certain category or brand of drink.