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Alcohol Consumption in Bars and Restaurants - US - May 2009

This report comes at a time when the bar and restaurant market is in flux, with Darwinian tactics elevating those that can be successful to the forefront of the pack. This report evaluates the current state of alcoholic beverage consumption at bars and restaurants, with a focus on what’s driving and suppressing the market, as well as innovations across all aspects of the market that will help the industry sustain itself throughout the next year and beyond.

In addition, the report delves deeply into consumer survey data that assesses today’s bar and restaurant alcohol consumers are, what their decision-making processes are, their average spend, their attitudes toward alcohol, and their drink loyalty and adventurousness.

The report helps industry participants answer the following questions:

  • How badly will the U.S. recession hurt the market for alcohol consumption at bars and restaurants?
  • What are the primary barriers, other than the recession, that have decreased alcohol consumption, and what can be done to combat these obstacles
  • What should bar and restaurant owners do to offset recession-related trends of consumer trade-down and increased at-home consumption
  • What are consumers looking for, and what can bars and restaurants do to attract demographics that typically are losing interest?
  • What new and hot drink innovations are gaining momentum in bars and restaurants?
  • Which popular alcoholic beverage types are making it onto fine dining and casual menus?
  • How can bars and restaurants make every marketing dollar count, and who should they target?
  • What types of patrons are the most likely to respond to suggestions, drink menus, and new drink innovations

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Sales data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • Alcohol sales at bars and restaurants feel pain of recession
                      • Strategies to combat further declines
                        • What consumers are looking for
                          • Budget alcohol brand consumption at home may drive premium brand consumption while out
                            • Who should bars and restaurants target to generate sales with alcohol?
                              • Necessity is the mother of innovation
                                • Bar and restaurant innovations
                                  • Beer
                                    • Wine
                                      • Spirits
                                      • Insights and Opportunities

                                        • Key points
                                          • What bars and restaurants can do to incentivize alcohol sales
                                            • Education is key to continued growth
                                              • Targeting women makes the most sense
                                                • Keep the creative promotions flowing
                                                  • Understanding what consumers want
                                                    • Drink innovations “cheat sheet” for bars and restaurants
                                                    • Inspire Insights

                                                        • Stress Society
                                                          • What's it about?
                                                            • What we've seen
                                                              • Specifics
                                                                • Implications
                                                                  • Chameleonics
                                                                    • What's it about?
                                                                      • Specifics
                                                                        • Application
                                                                        • Competitive Context

                                                                          • Recession depresses bar and restaurant spend, favors at-home consumption
                                                                              • Figure 1: Total U.S. retail sales of alcoholic beverages (packaged liquor, wine and beer), at inflation-adjusted prices*, 2008 and 2009
                                                                              • Figure 2: Total on-premise sales of alcoholic drinks at bars and restaurants, at inflation-adjusted prices*, 2008 and 2009
                                                                            • RTD cocktails compete for alcohol dollars
                                                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Figure 3: Total on-premise sales of alcoholic drinks at bars and restaurants, at current prices, 2003-13
                                                                                • Figure 4: Total on-premise sales of alcoholic drinks at bars and restaurants, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2003-13
                                                                              • Alcohol consumption at home on the rise
                                                                                • While alcohol consumption at bars and restaurants will decrease
                                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                                  • Restaurant recession continues
                                                                                    • Figure 5: Restaurant Performance Index, current situation, and expectations, November 2007-February 2009
                                                                                  • Casual and fine dining segments suffer the most
                                                                                    • Too much supply and not enough demand
                                                                                      • Conversion from on-premises to at-home consumption
                                                                                        • “Homedulgence” will increasingly play a role as ennui ensues
                                                                                          • Escapism and entertainment value will pull consumers out of the home
                                                                                          • Restaurant and Bar Analysis

                                                                                            • Most restaurant segments face a gloomy 2009 outlook
                                                                                              • Necessity is the mother of innovation
                                                                                                • Some restaurants are morphing into gastropubs
                                                                                                  • Featured Gastropub: Garden At The Cellar, Cambridge, MA
                                                                                                    • Throwing back cocktails in throwback environs
                                                                                                      • Featured “Speakeasy”: Bourbon and Branch, San Francisco, CA
                                                                                                        • This is not your father’s sports bar
                                                                                                          • Featured Sports Bar: The Agency Ultra Sport Lounge, Portland, OR
                                                                                                            • Variety is the spice of life, especially when it can be had under one roof
                                                                                                              • Featured Multi-concept Bar/Restaurant: TIME Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA
                                                                                                              • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Casual and fine dining beverage trends
                                                                                                                    • Figure 6: Top 5 alcoholic beverage types, fine/upscale/gourmet dining restaurants, Core Menu, Q1 2007-Q1 2009
                                                                                                                    • Figure 7: Top 5 alcoholic beverage types, casual dining restaurants, Core Menu, Q1 2007-Q1 2009
                                                                                                                  • Innovations by alcohol type
                                                                                                                    • Beer
                                                                                                                      • Wine
                                                                                                                        • Spirits
                                                                                                                        • Consumer Beverage Consumption: An Overview

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage consumption, by location
                                                                                                                                • Figure 8: “All” beverage consumption, by beverage type, at home, bars, and restaurants, December 2008
                                                                                                                              • Alcoholic beverage consumption at bars and restaurants
                                                                                                                                • Perception may deter consumption on premises
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 9: Alcoholic beverage consumption, by beverage type, at home, bars, and restaurants, December 2008
                                                                                                                                  • Alcohol consumption at bars
                                                                                                                                    • Men are more likely than women to consume alcohol at bars
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 10: Alcoholic beverage consumption, by beverage type, at bars, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                      • Older age deters likelihood of consumption at bars
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 11: Alcoholic beverage consumption, by beverage type, at bars, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                        • Bars frequented by consumers earning $50K-75K annually
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 12: Alcoholic beverage consumption, by beverage type, at bars, by HH income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                          • Alcoholic beverage consumption at restaurants
                                                                                                                                            • Restaurant atmosphere may drive alcohol choices for men and women
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 13: Alcoholic beverage consumption, by beverage type, at restaurants, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                              • Age matters less with consumption at restaurants versus bars
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 14: Alcoholic beverage consumption, by beverage type, at restaurants, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                • Affluent respondents prefer restaurants to bars
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 15: Alcoholic beverage consumption, by beverage type, at restaurants, by HH income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                • Alcoholic Beverage Decision-Making Process

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Overview
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 16: Alcoholic beverage decision-making process, at bars and restaurants, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Alcoholic beverage decision-making process at bars
                                                                                                                                                      • Men and women act stereotypically at bars
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 17: Alcoholic beverage decision-making process at bars, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                        • Youth drives experimentation at bars
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 18: Alcoholic beverage decision-making process at bars, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                        • Alcoholic beverage decision-making process at restaurants
                                                                                                                                                          • Men are more open than women to recommendations at restaurants
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 19: Alcoholic beverage decision-making process at restaurants, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                          • Wait staff should target under-35s with recommendations
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: Alcoholic beverage decision-making process at restaurants, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                          • Affluence brings confidence to the dining table
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Alcoholic beverage decision-making process at restaurants, by HH income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                        • Alcoholic Beverage Spend at Bars and Restaurants

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Alcoholic beverage spend per week, at bars and restaurants, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                          • Alcohol spend at bars
                                                                                                                                                            • More men spend more money in bars in part because of the DIY bar mentality
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Alcoholic beverage spend per week, at bars, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                              • Nearly half of respondents aged 21-34 spend $16-45 per week in bars
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Alcoholic beverage spend per week, at bars, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                              • Respondents with mid-range incomes are the most likely to spend up to $30 per week in bars
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Alcoholic beverage spend per week, at bars, by HH income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                              • Alcohol spend at restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                • Bad news for restaurants; respondents are more likely to spend less weekly on alcohol
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Alcoholic beverage spend per week, at restaurants, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                • Mortality and/or specific health concerns likely limit spend for older respondents
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Alcoholic beverage spend per week, at restaurants, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                • Target the low spenders
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Alcoholic beverage spend per week, at restaurants, by HH income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                              • Alcoholic Beverage Spending Trends

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • Alcoholic beverage spending at bars and restaurants compared to last year
                                                                                                                                                                    • 85% of respondents are drinking less or the same amount of alcohol in bars/restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Alcoholic beverage spending compared to last year, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                    • Older drinkers are more likely to be maintaining drinking routines at bars/restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Alcoholic beverage spending compared to last year, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                    • All income segments are showing signs of scaling back or restraint with consumption
                                                                                                                                                                      • Rationales for spending less on alcoholic beverages
                                                                                                                                                                        • Two in three respondents cite budget concerns as primary reasoning for reduced consumption in bars/restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Rationales for spending less on alcoholic beverages, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                        • Health and body image deter spend for men and women, respectively
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Rationales for spending less on alcoholic beverages, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes Toward Alcoholic Drinks and Bars

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                            • Bars appeal to those seeking food and informal fun
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Attitudes toward alcoholic drinks and bars, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                            • Disinterested Gen-Xers may be enticed to order another drink if food is offered
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Attitudes toward alcoholic drinks and bars, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                            • High-income respondents are the most likely to engage in bar life
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Attitudes toward alcoholic drinks and bars, by HH income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                          • Bar Socialization Factors

                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Bar socialization factors, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                              • Males are more open to the variety of social occasions that bars offer
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Bar socialization factors, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                              • Bar usage comes full circle as young and old seek the same thing
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Bar socialization factors, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                              • Higher HH incomes shift bar usage priorities only slightly
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Bar socialization factors, by HH income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                            • Alcoholic Beverage Loyalty

                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                • A small roster of favorite brands is ideal for most people
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Alcoholic beverage loyalty, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                • Brand loyalty very much a male inclination
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Alcoholic beverage loyalty, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                • Experimentation a product of age…to some degree
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Alcoholic beverage loyalty, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                • Affluence doesn’t play a significant role in brand loyalty or experimentation
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Alcoholic beverage loyalty, by HH income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                              • Alcoholic Beverage Adventurousness

                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Experimentation is more likely across drink types than it is across brands
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Alcoholic beverage adventurousness, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Males exhibit know-how and confidence with drink selection
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Alcoholic beverage adventurousness, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes Toward Alcoholic Beverages

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Caution rules the day
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Attitudes toward alcoholic beverages, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Image-consciousness is different for men and women
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Attitudes toward alcoholic beverages, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Youth inspires experimentation and vanity
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Attitudes toward alcoholic beverages, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Image is more important to the wealthy
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Attitudes toward alcoholic beverages, by HH income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cocktails

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Usage and interest in trying cocktails, by flavor, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Interest in mango
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Usage and interest in trying mango-flavored cocktails, by gender and age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Flavor analysis by gender
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Top flavors that males and females have tried
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Top flavors that males and females indicate they’d like to try
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Top flavors that males and females indicate they don’t plan to try
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Usage and interest in trying flavored cocktails, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Flavor analysis by age
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Young respondents (aged 21-34) the most likely to try flavor varieties
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Curiosity with untried flavors isn’t entirely a youthful phenomenon
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Older respondents not likely to try flavored cocktails
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Usage and interest in trying flavored cocktails, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Beer-drinking, low-spending loyalists
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Disloyal, moderate oenophiles
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Heavy-drinking, big-spending relaxers
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Bar and restaurant drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: In the last three months, have you drunk any of the following at a bar? by bar and restaurant drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: In the last three months, have you drunk any of the following at a restaurant? by bar and restaurant drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 58: How do you decide what alcoholic beverage to drink at a bar? by bar and restaurant drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 59: How do you decide what alcoholic beverage to drink at a restaurant? by bar and restaurant drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: About how much do you spend on alcoholic beverages at a bar per week? by bar and restaurant drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 61: About how much do you spend on alcoholic beverages at a restaurant per week? by bar and restaurant drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 62: Please tell us if you agree with any of the following statements about alcoholic drinks at restaurants by bar and restaurant drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 63: When do you usually have a drink when you are at a restaurant? by bar and restaurant drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 64: Please tell us if you agree with any of the following statements about alcoholic drinks and bars by bar and restaurant drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 65: When you go to a bar, do you? by bar and restaurant drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 66: Thinking about the alcoholic beverage you drink most often, please tell us which of the following you agree with by bar and restaurant drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 67: Please tell us if you agree with any of the following statements by bar and restaurant drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 68: Please tell us if you agree with any of the following statements by bar and restaurant drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: Bar and restaurant drinker clusters by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Bar and restaurant drinker clusters by age group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: Bar and restaurant drinker clusters by income group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 72: Bar and restaurant drinker clusters by race, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: Bar and restaurant drinker clusters by Hispanic origin, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Alcoholic beverage spending compared to last year, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 75: Attitudes toward alcoholic drinks and bars, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 76: Alcoholic beverage adventurousness, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 77: Alcoholic beverage adventurousness, by HH income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • American Beverage Licensees
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Beam Global Spirits & Wine
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Beer Institute (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Bloomberg L.P.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Brewers’ Association of America (BAA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Diageo Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • National Association of Beverage Retailers (NABR)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • National Beer Wholesalers’ Association (NBWA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • National Restaurant Association (NRA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Neutrogena Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Alcohol Consumption in Bars and Restaurants - US - May 2009

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