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On-premise Alcohol Consumption Trends - US - April 2012

The restaurant recession appears to be over and patrons are starting to venture out from their homes to visit restaurants and bars once again. Over the past few years, operators have ramped up their beverage programs in order draw consumers back using a variety of strategies, from new drinks, ingredients and flavors to innovative pricing and promotions.

This report details the latest trends and factors impacting what and where people drink, including:

  • Types of drinks that are “must-haves” on every drink list and where there are gaps
  • Examples of how operators are implementing the latest beer, wine, and cocktail trends successfully
  • What beverage promotions are being implemented and where there are additional opportunities
  • The demographics that are most likely to spend money and what they are most likely to spend it on.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Mintel Menu Insights
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                      • There is light at the end of the tunnel
                        • On-premise is looking for new drinks
                          • Restaurant behavior is inconsistent
                            • Menu trends favor certain spirits, flavors, and brands
                              • Purchase behavior tends to be conservative
                                • Attitudes toward alcohol indicate willingness to try new things
                                • Insights and Opportunities

                                  • Key points
                                    • New and old spirits hit the shelves
                                      • Preparation is half the bottle
                                        • Big bottles
                                          • Carbonated cocktails are airborne
                                            • More drinks on tap
                                              • Drink flights land profits
                                                • Infusion confusion
                                                  • Skinny drinks make big waves
                                                    • Toasting the seasons
                                                      • Authenticity
                                                        • The good old days
                                                          • Locavore movement still going strong
                                                            • Smartphone apps help find, buy, and share drinks
                                                              • DrinkOwl
                                                                • Figure 1: DrinkOwl smartphone application, March 2012
                                                              • Bartab
                                                                • Figure 2: Bartab smartphone Application, March 2012
                                                            • Inspire Insights

                                                                • Trend: Mood to Order
                                                                  • Trend: Sense of the Intense
                                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • On-premise alcohol sales and forecast
                                                                        • Figure 3: U.S. on-premise alcohol sales, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                        • Figure 4: U.S. On-premise alcohol sales, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2006-16
                                                                      • On-premise alcohol sales by type and channel
                                                                        • Figure 5: Sales of alcoholic beverages at bars, restaurants, and other venues, by beverage, 2006-11
                                                                        • Figure 6: Share of sales of alcoholic beverages at bars, restaurants, and other venues, by beverage, 2006-11
                                                                        • Figure 7: Sales of alcoholic beverages at bars, restaurants, and other venues, by channel, 2006-11
                                                                        • Figure 8: Channel sales share of alcoholic beverages at bars, restaurants, and other venues, by channel, 2006-11
                                                                      • Fan chart forecast
                                                                          • Figure 9: U.S. on-premise alcohol sales fanned forecast, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Restaurant Performance Index looks hopeful
                                                                              • Figure 10: Restaurant Performance Index, January 2009-January 2012
                                                                            • Foodservice and drinking place sales are recovering
                                                                              • Figure 11: Adjusted foodservice and drinking place sales, January 2008-January 2012
                                                                            • Consumers cautiously optimistic
                                                                              • Figure 12: Consumer sentiment, March 2007-February 2012
                                                                            • Unemployment rate looks promising
                                                                              • Figure 13: Unemployment and underemployment rates, January 2007-January 2012
                                                                            • Underemployment still high
                                                                              • Disposable personal income inches up
                                                                                • Figure 14: Real disposable personal income, January 2007-January 2012
                                                                              • Rising gasoline prices
                                                                                • Increasing food costs
                                                                                  • The aging population
                                                                                    • Figure 15: Population, by age, 2010
                                                                                • Competitive Context

                                                                                  • Drinking at home: still cheaper and easier
                                                                                    • Figure 16: Alcoholic beverage spending compared to last year, January 2012
                                                                                    • Figure 17: Attitudes toward on-premise alcohol consumption, January 2012
                                                                                • Restaurant and Bar Analysis

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Limited-service restaurants turn 21
                                                                                      • Noodles & Company
                                                                                        • Full-service restaurants break their curfews
                                                                                          • Ruth’s Chris Steak House
                                                                                            • Independent bars and restaurants
                                                                                              • The Aviary
                                                                                                • Breckenridge Brewery
                                                                                                • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Television ads
                                                                                                      • Logan’s Roadhouse
                                                                                                        • Figure 18: T.G.I. Logan’s Roadhouse television ad, September 2011
                                                                                                      • Tilted Kilt
                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Tilted Kilt television ad, August 2011
                                                                                                      • T.G.I. Friday’s
                                                                                                        • Figure 20: T.G.I. Friday’s television ad, June 2011
                                                                                                        • Figure 21: T.G.I. Friday’s television ad, February 2012
                                                                                                      • Taco Cabana
                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Taco Cabana television ad, October 2011
                                                                                                        • Fuddruckers
                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Fuddruckers television ad, October 2011
                                                                                                        • Websites
                                                                                                          • T.G.I. Friday’s
                                                                                                            • Figure 24: T.G.I Friday’s website, March 2012
                                                                                                          • Tilted Kilt
                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Tilted Kilt website, March 2012
                                                                                                          • Houlihan’s
                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Houlihan’s website, March 2012
                                                                                                          • Social media
                                                                                                            • Taco Cabana
                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Taco Cabana Facebook page, March 2012
                                                                                                              • T.G.I. Friday’s
                                                                                                                • Figure 28: T.G.I. Friday’s YouTube video, March 2012
                                                                                                              • Tilted Kilt
                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Tilted Kilt Facebook page, March 2012
                                                                                                            • Menu Insights Analysis: Restaurant Segment Trends

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Menu selection trends
                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Alcoholic beverages at restaurant segments, by incidence, Q4 2008-Q4 2011
                                                                                                                • Drink prices increase, driven by quality offerings
                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Alcoholic beverages at restaurant segments, by incidence and price, Q4 2008-Q4 2011
                                                                                                                • Strategies of restaurants with large beverages programs
                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Top 10 restaurants by alcoholic beverage incidence, Q4 2008-Q4 2011
                                                                                                              • Menu Insights Analysis: Beverage Trends

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Margaritas and cocktails strong and continuing to grow
                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Top 10 alcoholic beverages, by incidence, Q4 2008-Q4 2011
                                                                                                                    • Wines are the priciest option
                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Top 10 alcoholic beverages, by incidence and price, Q4 2008-Q4 2011
                                                                                                                    • Bacardi the leading brand, by incidence
                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Top 10 alcohol brands, by incidence, Q4 2008-Q4 2011
                                                                                                                      • Lime and strawberry are top flavors, pomegranate and sangria gaining
                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Top 10 cocktail flavors, by incidence, Q4 2007-Q4 2010
                                                                                                                        • Promotional drink opportunities
                                                                                                                        • On-Premise Alcohol Consumption: An Overview

                                                                                                                            • Infrequent bar usage
                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Alcoholic beverage ordering frequency at bars/nightclubs, by gender, January 2012
                                                                                                                            • Young age groups are more likely to order alcoholic beverages at bars
                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Alcoholic beverage ordering frequency at bars/nightclubs, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                            • Single people frequently order alcoholic beverages at bars/nightclubs
                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Alcoholic beverage ordering frequency at bars/nightclubs, by marital status, January 2012
                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Alcoholic beverage ordering frequency at restaurants, by gender, January 2012
                                                                                                                            • Resistance to alcoholic beverages at restaurants emerges after age 65
                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Alcoholic beverage ordering frequency at restaurants, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                            • Less affluent are less likely to order alcoholic beverages at restaurants
                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Alcoholic beverage ordering frequency at restaurants, by household income, January 2012
                                                                                                                          • Beverages Ordered On-Premise

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Beer is most popular at bars/nightclubs
                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Usual alcoholic beverage consumption at bars/nightclubs, by gender, January 2012
                                                                                                                              • Young age groups are more likely to drink a range of beverages at bars/nightclubs
                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Usual alcoholic beverage consumption at bars/nightclubs, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                              • Highly affluent drawn to prestige beverages: wine and sparkling wine
                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Usual alcoholic beverage consumption at bars/nightclubs, by household income, January 2012
                                                                                                                              • Beer edges out wine in alcoholic beverage consumption at restaurants
                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Usual alcoholic beverage consumption at restaurants, by gender, January 2012
                                                                                                                              • Young drinkers prefer atypical alcoholic beverages
                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Usual alcoholic beverage consumption at restaurants, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                              • Lower-income households are less likely to drink alcoholic beverages at restaurants
                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Usual alcoholic beverage consumption at restaurants, by household income, January 2012
                                                                                                                            • Cocktail Preferences

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Vodka-based cocktails are most popular; yet, varied preferences exist
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Cocktail consumption type at bars/nightclubs or restaurants, by gender, January 2012
                                                                                                                                  • Younger age groups drink a variety of cocktail types
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Cocktail consumption type at bars/nightclubs or restaurants, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Blacks prefer drink gin-based cocktails; Hispanics prefer tequila-based drinks
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Cocktail consumption type at bars/nightclubs or restaurants, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2012
                                                                                                                                  • The Alcoholic Beverage Decision-Making Process

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Alcoholic beverage choice driven by favorites
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Alcoholic beverage selection drivers, by segment, January 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Drink decisions at bars/nightclubs
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Alcoholic beverage selection drivers for bars/nightclubs, by gender, January 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Peers influence beverage choice of young drinkers
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Alcoholic beverage selection drivers for bars/nightclubs, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Less affluent choose drinks based on intoxication effects
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Alcoholic beverage selection drivers for bars/nightclubs, by household income, January 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Drink decisions at restaurants
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Alcoholic beverage selection drivers for restaurants, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Seasonality has more influence over highly affluent respondents’ drink choice
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Alcoholic beverage selection drivers for restaurants, by household income, January 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Amount Spent on Alcoholic Beverages

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Spending on alcoholic beverages is higher at bars/nightclubs
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Alcoholic beverage spend at bars/nightclubs and restaurants, January 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Spending at bars
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 59: Alcoholic beverage spend at bars/nightclubs, by gender, January 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Those who are younger than 45 have above-average spending at bars
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Alcoholic beverage spend at bars/nightclubs, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Lower-middle-income consumers spend most at bars/nightclubs
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Alcoholic beverage spend at bars/nightclubs, by household income, January 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Respondents living with a partner spend more on alcoholic beverages at bars
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Alcoholic beverage spend at bars/nightclubs, by marital status, January 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Spending at restaurants
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Alcoholic beverage spend at restaurants, by gender, January 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Young age groups spend more on alcoholic beverages at restaurants
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Chili’s restaurant promotion advertisement, January 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Alcoholic beverage spend at restaurants, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Highly affluent have the highest average spend on restaurant alcoholic beverages
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Alcoholic beverage spend at restaurants, by household income, January 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Alcohol Consumption Compared to Last Year

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • On-premise alcohol consumption hasn’t changed in the last year
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 67: Changes in ordering alcohol, January 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Those who are younger than 35 are most likely to be ordering more alcoholic beverages this year
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 68: Changes in ordering alcohol, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Lower incomes are restricting their on-premise alcohol consumption this year
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: Changes in ordering alcohol, by household income, January 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Hispanics are more likely to increase on-premise alcohol consumption this year
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Changes in ordering alcohol, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Reasons for ordering fewer alcoholic beverages
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: Reasons for ordering fewer alcoholic beverages, by gender, January 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Less affluent are budgeting their money more this year
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 72: Reasons for ordering fewer alcoholic beverages, by household income, January 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes Toward On-Premise Alcohol

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • More consumers are satisfied with alcohol choices at bars than at restaurants
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Attitudes toward alcoholic beverage offerings, by gender, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Those aged 21-24 are more interested in cocktail innovation
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Attitudes toward alcoholic beverage offerings, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Higher incomes are less likely to order expensive brands of alcohol
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 75: Attitudes toward alcoholic beverage offerings, by household income, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Singles are more likely to drink expensive brands and be interested in specialty cocktails
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 76: Attitudes toward alcoholic beverage offerings, by marital status, January 2012
                                                                                                                                              • On-Premise Ordering Behaviors

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Familiarity meets adventure
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 77: On-premise ordering behavior, by gender, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Young drinkers are more willing to experiment with new drinks
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 78: On-premise ordering behavior, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Demystifying wine can encourage more usage among singles
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 79: On-premise ordering behavior, by marital status, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                  • Absolut Spirits Company (USA)
                                                                                                                                                  • American Beverage Licensees
                                                                                                                                                  • Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc
                                                                                                                                                  • Applebee's International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Bacardi U.S.A. Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Beam Global Spirits & Wine
                                                                                                                                                  • Beer Institute (The)
                                                                                                                                                  • BMW of North America, LLC
                                                                                                                                                  • Brewers’ Association of America (BAA)
                                                                                                                                                  • Brinker International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Brown-Forman
                                                                                                                                                  • Bureau of Economic Analysis
                                                                                                                                                  • Burger King Corporation
                                                                                                                                                  • Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Darden Restaurants Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Denny's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                  • Diageo North America
                                                                                                                                                  • Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
                                                                                                                                                  • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Foursquare
                                                                                                                                                  • Fuddruckers, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Groupon, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Houlihan's Restaurants, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Kona Grill, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Legal Sea Foods Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Logan's Roadhouse, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Luxardo S.p.A.
                                                                                                                                                  • McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • McDonald's U.S.A.
                                                                                                                                                  • MillerCoors LLC
                                                                                                                                                  • Moe's Southwest Grill, LLC
                                                                                                                                                  • Morton's Restaurant Group, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • National Association of Beverage Retailers (NABR)
                                                                                                                                                  • National Beer Wholesalers’ Association (NBWA)
                                                                                                                                                  • National Restaurant Association (NRA)
                                                                                                                                                  • Noodles & Company
                                                                                                                                                  • Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc
                                                                                                                                                  • P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Pizza Hut Inc
                                                                                                                                                  • Punch Taverns
                                                                                                                                                  • Red Bull North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Redhook Ale Brewery Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Research In Motion (USA)
                                                                                                                                                  • Ruby Tuesday Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Ruth's Chris Steak House, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Skyy Spirits LLC
                                                                                                                                                  • Sonic Corp.
                                                                                                                                                  • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                                                  • TGI Friday's
                                                                                                                                                  • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                  • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                                  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
                                                                                                                                                  • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                                                  • Uno Restaurant Holdings Corp.
                                                                                                                                                  • US Department of Commerce
                                                                                                                                                  • White Castle System, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America
                                                                                                                                                  • Yelp Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                  On-premise Alcohol Consumption Trends - US - April 2012

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