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Restaurant Beverage Trends - US - April 2009

While the recession has squarely hit the restaurant industry, that does not mean restaurant beverage innovation has stopped. To the contrary, in an environment where consumers are greeting expensive beverages less enthusiastically, the industry has worked hard to adapt.

This report assesses the current state of beverage affairs, with an eye toward long-term trends such as health and wellness, premium and flavor innovation—and assesses them with respect to alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The report helps industry participants answer the following questions:

  • How can wine sales be invigorated?
  • How can wine, beer and spirits education be spun on the menu?
  • Are the craft and extreme beer trends here to stay?
  • Which beverages are making it onto fine dining, casual, family, fast casual and QSR menus?
  • Which restaurants are on trend, and what can they teach us?
  • Is there more room for non-alcoholic beverage innovation? Like what?
  • How can the alcoholic beverage decision-making process at restaurants be better understood?
  • How can restaurants adapt to the short-term (recession) as well as the long-term?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

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

                    • Summary capsule
                      • Recession hits restaurant industry
                        • Long-term trends intact
                          • Getting wine sales to move: give consumers what they want
                            • Beer going upstream at just the right time
                              • Spirits
                                • Soda, coffee and tea trends
                                  • Beverage trends by segment
                                    • Beverage consumption, by location: home, bar, restaurant
                                      • Beverage usage at restaurants
                                        • Alcoholic beverages and the restaurant experience
                                          • Restaurant beverage drinking and meal timing
                                          • Insights and Opportunities

                                            • Key points
                                              • Build a flexible by-the-glass program, and they will come
                                                • Educate and motivate to stimulate purchase decision
                                                  • Beer “opportunity capsule”
                                                    • Dessert, anyone?
                                                      • Figure 1: Restaurant beverage drinking and meal timing, December 2008
                                                    • Daring pairings
                                                      • Cross-pollinating innovation for sales impact
                                                      • Inspire Insights

                                                          • Many Mes
                                                            • What's it about?
                                                              • What we've seen
                                                                • The myriad mes of beer
                                                                  • Implications: a beer for every occasion and mood state.
                                                                    • New Man in Town; New Woman in Town
                                                                      • What's it about?
                                                                        • What we've seen: Man as Conqueror; Woman as Sex Object
                                                                          • Implications: a beer for every occasion, mood state, and gender
                                                                            • The long view
                                                                            • Restaurant Beverage Market Factors

                                                                              • Recession hits restaurant industry
                                                                                • Figure 2: Restaurant Performance Index, current situation, and expectations, November 2007-February 2009
                                                                              • Consumer confidence undermines willingness to spend at restaurants
                                                                                  • Figure 3: Consumer sentiment index, 2001-08
                                                                                • Travel industry woes take a bite of restaurant spend
                                                                                  • Long-term trends intact
                                                                                    • Wine rides health and wellness, education trends
                                                                                      • Beer industry consolidation changes retail, brings irony of choice
                                                                                        • Premium and flavor innovation influence spirits’ fate
                                                                                            • Figure 4: Flavored distilled spirits consumption, by age, January 2007
                                                                                          • Health and wellness trends drive non-alcoholic beverage momentum
                                                                                            • Moving away from soda
                                                                                              • Functional and pro-health positioning affect shift in preferences
                                                                                                • Figure 5: Trends in personal consumption of RTD beverages, 2003-08
                                                                                              • Men shift to drinking low-calorie beverages
                                                                                                • Figure 6: Trends in personal consumption of soda and bottled water, by gender, 2003 and 2008
                                                                                                • Figure 7: Percentage of respondents watching/controlling diet, 2004 and 2008
                                                                                              • Choice and quality open consumers’ eyes to coffee drinks
                                                                                              • Beverage Trend Capsule: Fine Dining

                                                                                                  • Cocktails and beer lead fine dining menu growth
                                                                                                    • Figure 8: Top 5 alcoholic beverage types, fine dining restaurants, Q4 2007-Q4 2008
                                                                                                    • Figure 9: Top 10 cocktail beverage types, fine dining restaurants, Q4 2007-Q4 2008
                                                                                                  • Non-alcoholic beverage growth suggests stability
                                                                                                    • Figure 10: Top 8 non-alcoholic beverage types, fine dining restaurants, Q4 2007-Q4 2008
                                                                                                • Beverage Trend Capsule: Casual Dining

                                                                                                    • Cocktail introductions increase; beer and wine decline
                                                                                                      • Figure 11: Top 5 alcoholic beverage types, casual restaurants, Q4 2007-Q4 2008
                                                                                                    • Cocktails an everyday mix
                                                                                                      • Figure 12: Top 5 cocktail beverage types, casual restaurants, Q4 2007-Q4 2008
                                                                                                      • Figure 13: Top 9 non-alcoholic beverage types, casual restaurants, Q4 2007-Q4 2008
                                                                                                  • Beverage Trend Capsule: Family Dining

                                                                                                      • Coffee menu items decline; frozen beverages on the upswing
                                                                                                        • Figure 14: Non-alcoholic beverage types, family restaurants, Q4 2007-Q4 2008
                                                                                                    • Beverage Trend Capsule: Fast Casual

                                                                                                        • Cocktails and beer lead fine dining menu growth
                                                                                                          • Figure 15: Non-alcoholic beverage types, fast casual restaurants, Q4 2007-Q4 2008
                                                                                                      • Beverage Trend Capsule: QSR

                                                                                                          • QSR menu growth
                                                                                                            • Figure 16: Non-alcoholic beverage types, quick service restaurants, Q4 2007-Q4 2008*
                                                                                                        • Innovation and Innovators: Beer

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Setting the stage: momentum in beer’s favor
                                                                                                              • Figure 17: Alcoholic beverage consumption, by alcoholic beverage type, at restaurants, December 2008
                                                                                                            • Moving price points downstream while beer moves upstream
                                                                                                              • On trend: Brasserie JO thrives in Chicago
                                                                                                                • Craft beer takes flight
                                                                                                                  • Beer pairing gathers steam
                                                                                                                    • Spinning value to the value-minded
                                                                                                                      • Extreme beer: not for everyone, but an innovation driver
                                                                                                                        • Flavor and ingredient trends
                                                                                                                          • Chocolate goes loco
                                                                                                                            • Coffee with your beer?
                                                                                                                              • Beer with a slice of fruit
                                                                                                                              • Innovation and Innovators: Wine

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Setting the stage: wine downsizes to stay relevant
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Alcoholic beverage consumption, by alcoholic beverage type, at restaurants, December 2008
                                                                                                                                  • On trend: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
                                                                                                                                    • Steakhouses: boom and bust
                                                                                                                                      • Fleming’s 100 may be ace in the hole
                                                                                                                                        • Wide selection; easy navigation
                                                                                                                                        • Innovation and Innovators: Distilled Spirits & Cocktails

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Setting the stage: popular, but not a favorite choice
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 19: Alcoholic beverage consumption, by alcoholic beverage type, at restaurants, December 2008
                                                                                                                                            • Cocktail culture and the restaurant scene
                                                                                                                                              • Mixologists experiment
                                                                                                                                                • Flavored spirits are growing in popularity
                                                                                                                                                  • Berry wild
                                                                                                                                                    • Tropical fruits
                                                                                                                                                      • Sparkling citrus
                                                                                                                                                        • The flavor and fragrance connection
                                                                                                                                                        • Innovation and Innovators: Soda

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Setting the stage: soda use demonstrates the power of the fountain drink
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Non-alcoholic beverage consumption, top 5 beverage types, at restaurants, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                            • Natural cane soda adds a twist to sugar dilemma
                                                                                                                                                              • Coke Zero shows that men will drink diet
                                                                                                                                                              • Innovation and Innovators: Coffee

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • Setting the stage: a popular brew, but how long can innovation continue?
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Non-alcoholic beverage consumption, top 5 beverage types, at restaurants, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                • Innovation and Innovators: Tea

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Setting the stage: tea is the new coffee
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Non-alcoholic beverage consumption, top 5 beverage types, at restaurants, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                    • Flavor trends: innovation across restaurant spectrum
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Teas, by beverage flavor, QSR restaurant segment, Q4 2007 versus Q4 2008*
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Teas, by beverage flavor, fine dining restaurant segment, Q4 2007 versus Q4 2008
                                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer Beverage Consumption: An Overview

                                                                                                                                                                    • Beverage consumption, by location
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 25: Beverage consumption, by beverage type, at home, bars, and restaurants, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                      • Beverage consumption at restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Alcoholic beverage consumption, by beverage type, at restaurants, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Alcoholic beverage consumption, by beverage type, at restaurants, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Alcoholic beverage consumption, by beverage type, at restaurants, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Alcoholic beverage consumption, by beverage type, at restaurants, by HH income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                      • Beverages Drunk Most Often

                                                                                                                                                                        • Beverages drunk most often, by location
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Beverages drunk most often, by beverage type, at home, bars, and restaurants, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                        • Beverage consumption at restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Beverages drunk most often, by beverage type, at restaurants, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Beverages drunk most often, by beverage type, at restaurants, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                      • Alcoholic Beverage Decision Making at Restaurants

                                                                                                                                                                        • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Alcoholic beverage decision-making process at restaurants, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                        • Demographic analysis
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Alcoholic beverage consumption at restaurants, by beverage type, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                      • Alcoholic Beverages and the Restaurant Experience

                                                                                                                                                                        • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Alcoholic beverages and the restaurant experience, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                          • Demographic analysis
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Alcoholic beverages and the restaurant experience, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Alcoholic beverages and the restaurant experience, by HH income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                        • Restaurant Beverage Drinking and Meal Timing

                                                                                                                                                                          • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Restaurant beverage drinking and meal timing, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                            • Demographic analysis
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Restaurant beverage drinking and meal timing, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Restaurant beverage drinking and meal timing, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Restaurant beverage drinking and meal timing, by HH income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                          • Drinks on the Menu Consumers Like to See More Of

                                                                                                                                                                            • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Drinks consumers want to see more of, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                              • Demographic analysis
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Drinks consumers want to see more of, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                              • Interest in Non-Alcoholic Beverages

                                                                                                                                                                                • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Non-alcoholic beverage attitudes, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                • Demographic analysis
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Non-alcoholic beverage attitudes, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                              • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Innovative and Involved Drinkers
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Narrowly Focused Habituals
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Non-Alcohol Resistants
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Restaurant beverage drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Beverage consumption, by beverage type, at restaurants, by restaurant beverage drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Alcoholic beverage decision-making process at restaurants, by restaurant beverage drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Alcoholic beverages and the restaurant experience, by restaurant beverage drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Restaurant beverage drinking and meal timing, by restaurant beverage drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: alcoholic beverage loyalty, by restaurant beverage drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Alcoholic beverage experimentation, by restaurant beverage drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Alcoholic beverage attitudes, by restaurant beverage drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Non-alcoholic beverage attitudes, by restaurant beverage drinker clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Restaurant beverage drinker clusters, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Restaurant beverage drinker clusters, by age group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Restaurant beverage drinker clusters, by HH income group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Restaurant beverage drinker clusters by race/ethnicity, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Restaurant beverage drinker clusters, by Hispanic origin, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix: Additional Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Alcoholic beverages and the restaurant experience, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Drinks consumers want to see more of, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Non-alcoholic beverage attitudes, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Beverage consumption, by beverage type, at restaurants, by HH income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • ABP Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Absolut Spirits Company (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Albertsons Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • American Beverage Association, The
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • American Beverage Licensees
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Applebee's International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Atlanta Bread Company International, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bacardi U.S.A. Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Beam Global Spirits & Wine
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Beer Institute (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Beverage Digest
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bill Communications, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Brewers’ Association of America (BAA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bruegger's Enterprises Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Christian Dior
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Coca-Cola Company (The) (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Coffee Bean International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Coffee Beanery Limited (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cosi Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Denny's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Donna Karan International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Dunkin' Brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Fragrance Foundation, The
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Golden Corral Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Heineken USA Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • International Bottled Water Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Jones Soda Co.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Macy's, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • McDonald's U.S.A.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Morton's Restaurant Group, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • National Association of Beverage Retailers (NABR)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • National Beer Wholesalers’ Association (NBWA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • National Beverage & Products Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • National Restaurant Association (NRA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • National Soft Drink Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • OSI Restaurant Partners, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Papa John's International, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Rockstar Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ruth's Chris Steak House, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Skyy Spirits LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • The New York Times Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Upper Crust Products Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Vera Wang
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Wine Market Council (The)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Restaurant Beverage Trends - US - April 2009

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