More than half of all cocktail drinkers now enjoy them in restaurants, new research from CGA Strategy reveals—proof that the popularity of mixed drinks continues to surge.
The finding is one of a host of insights in the latest Mixed Drinks Report, the definitive annual survey of the market from CGA Strategy. It also reveals that cocktails are now sold in around a quarter of all on-trade outlets in the UK—up by 2.3% in just the last six months.
Once the preserve of late night bars and nightclubs, cocktails are now firm favourites on the drinks menus of pubs and restaurants too, the report concludes. Restaurants are now just as popular a choice for cocktail drinkers as bars, especially among younger drinkers, with pubs not far behind. This reflects both the sophistication of cocktail offers in casual dining restaurants now, and the increasingly close connection between mixed drinks and food.
Other findings unveiled in CGA Strategy’s Mixed Drinks Report include:
• The mojito remains the UK’s most popular cocktail—but among frequent drinkers, choices like Aperol Spritz, Caipirinha and Pornstar Martini are common selections too
• Vodka is the country’s most common cocktail ingredient, with the branding of the spirit becoming more important to consumers
• Berry, fruity and citrus are the most popular cocktail flavours for women and younger drinkers—but men tend to prefer smoky and sour flavours
• Low-fat and non-alcoholic cocktails take a growing market share, with a quarter of cocktail drinkers now preferring to order a skinny option.
The report confirms the importance of cocktails to restaurants, bars and pubs now. Cocktail drinkers drink nearly three serves on an average visit and are willing to pay £5 to £7 for a drink, while promotions like happy hours and two-for-one deals are particularly effective in enticing younger adults.
CGA Strategy client services director Rachel Perryman says: “Cocktails are one of the big growth areas in drinking out, and our Mixed Drinks Report shows how well the on-trade is catering for their drinkers now. Their soaring popularity in restaurants is a sign of just how far cocktails have penetrated into the mainstream, and the increasing sophistication of drinkers shows the trend has a long way to run yet.”