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Key points included

  • Americans drink at home most often
  • Gen Zers drink less than Millennials or Gen Xers
  • One-fifth of diners always try a new drink

Covered in this report

This report covers consumer attitudes and trends relating to all alcoholic beverages consumed at any on-premise location (eg bars, restaurants, nightclubs, sport arenas). While retail alcohol data is cited in this Report, retail alcohol (ie alcohol purchased from a grocery store, mass merchandiser, liquor store) is not a focus of this Report. For more information on alcohol from a retail perspective, please look to Mintel’s Drink Report library.

This report builds upon the previous year’s Report (see OnPremise Alcohol Trends – US, April 2018).

For the purposes of this Report, the market size covers all sales of alcohol intended to be consumed on-premise, regardless of location. In addition to restaurants, it covers sales through bars/ pubs, clubs and other entertainment venues, concessions.


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Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Hannah Spencer, a leading analyst in the Foodservice sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Americans’ mindset and attitudes toward drinking have undergone a paradigm shift in recent years. While patrons of all ages are still drinking on-premise, younger generations are putting greater emphasis on their health and wellness, leading to more moderate drinking habits. Bars and restaurants should focus on offering options that fit into these diners’ lifestyles including non-alcoholic and better-for-you options. Hannah Spencer
Foodservice Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Top takeaways
          • The issues
            • Americans drink at home most often
              • Figure 1: Alcoholic beverage consumption by location – Net, July 2019
            • Gen Zers drink less than Millennials or Gen Xers
              • Figure 2: Alcoholic beverage consumption by location – Net, by generation, July 2019
            • The opportunities
              • Diners are drinking AFH more often
                • Figure 3: Changes in AFH drinking, July 2019 and January 2018
              • Social occasions are top AFH drinking occasions
                • Figure 4: On-premise alcohol occasions – Net: any drink, July 2019
              • One-fifth of diners always try a new drink
                • Figure 5: Adventurous drinker segmentation, July 2019
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • AH still leads for alcohol consumption, but AFH sales are growing faster
                • Beer continues to dominate, while spirit sales surpass wine sales
                  • Hard seltzers appeal to health-conscious consumers
                  • Market Size and Forecast

                    • Projected YOY on-premise sales growth
                      • Figure 6: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of market, at current prices, 2014-24
                      • Figure 7: Total US sales and forecast of on-premise alcohol, at current prices, 2014-24
                  • Market Breakdown

                    • On-premise alcohol sales grow faster than off-premise
                      • Figure 8: Share of US sales of alcoholic beverages, by location of consumption, at current prices, 2014-19 (est)
                    • Beer remains consumers’ top alcohol choice
                      • Figure 9: Share of US sales of alcoholic beverages, by type of alcoholic beverage, 2014-19 (est)
                      • Figure 10: Total US on and off-premise sales and fan chart forecast of beer, at current prices, 2014-24
                      • Figure 11: Total US volume sales and forecast of beer and craft beer, 2014-22
                    • Wine continues to experience steady growth
                      • Figure 12: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of wine, at current prices, 2014-24
                      • Figure 13: Total US volume sales and forecast of wine, 2014-22
                      • Figure 14: Wine launches by share of packaging type, 2014 and 2019*
                    • Spirit sales projected to overtake wine sales
                      • Figure 15: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of spirits, at current prices, 2014-24
                      • Figure 16: Distribution of spirits sales by volume, by segment, 2019 (estimate)
                      • Figure 17: Total US volume sales of spirits, by segment, 2017 and 2019
                    • White spirits
                      • Figure 18: US volume sales and forecast of white spirits, 2014-22
                    • Dark spirits
                      • Figure 19: US volume sales and forecast of dark spirits, 2014-22
                      • Figure 20: US volume sales of whiskey/whisky, by type, 2014-19
                    • RTD alcoholic beverages
                      • Figure 21: Total US volume sales and forecast of flavored malt beverages, 2014-22
                      • Figure 22: Total US volume sales and forecast of spirits-based prepared cocktails, 2014-22
                      • Figure 23: Total US volume sales and forecast of wine coolers, 2014-22
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Legalization of marijuana could be competition for alcohol
                      • Figure 24: Cannabis statements, July 2019
                    • Hard seltzers appeal to health-conscious consumers
                      • Figure 25: Spiked spritzers
                      • Figure 26: Four Loko tweet, 8/13/19
                      • Figure 27: Bartles & Jaymes premium wine coolers
                  • Market Factors

                    • Economic instability could curb going out
                      • Figure 28: Consumer Sentiment Index, January 2007-August 2019
                    • Millennials prioritize health over alcohol
                      • Figure 29: Barriers to health and wellbeing improvement, by any rank and Millennials, March 2018
                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                    • Bars face sobering times
                      • Eatertainment venues attract patrons with games and high-quality menus
                        • Restaurants struggle to implement alcohol delivery operations
                          • Bars roll out CBD cocktails despite unclear federal approval
                            • Lambrusco bubbles up on menus
                            • What’s Working?

                              • Serving up drinks with a side of fun
                                • Bars appeal to the spectrum of sober patrons
                                  • Bitter flavors hit the mark on menus
                                    • Figure 30: Increase in menu incidence for select bitters as an ingredient in alcoholic beverages, Q2 2016-Q2 2019
                                    • Figure 31: Increase in menu item claim incidence for bitters as an ingredient in alcoholic beverages, Q2 2016-Q2 2019
                                • What’s Struggling?

                                  • Alcohol delivery has difficulties taking hold
                                    • Putting CBD on the menu is still TBD
                                    • What to Watch

                                      • Is Lambrusco the next rosé?
                                        • Less is more for cocktail drinkers
                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                          • Nearly a quarter drink AFH more often
                                            • Alcoholic beverage variety is important for diners
                                              • Among those drinking less, price and health are concerns
                                                • Socialization drives alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage purchase
                                                • Alcoholic Beverage Consumption by Location

                                                  • Consumers drink more often AH than AFH
                                                    • Figure 32: Alcoholic beverage consumption by location – Net, July 2019
                                                  • Over half drink at a casual dining restaurant chain
                                                    • Figure 33: Alcoholic beverage consumption by location – Net: any alcohol, July 2019
                                                    • Figure 34: TGI Friday’s email, “$5 Fridays 'Rita – All month long,” May 1, 2019
                                                  • Adventurous drinkers more likely to choose fast casual restaurants
                                                    • Figure 35: Alcoholic beverage consumption by location – Net: any alcohol, by adventurous drinker segmentation, July 2019
                                                    • Figure 36: District Brew Yards’ beer wall
                                                    • Figure 37: Lux bar drink menu
                                                  • Gen Zers drink less than Millennials or Gen Xers
                                                    • Figure 38: Alcoholic beverage consumption by location – Net, by generation, July 2019
                                                    • Figure 39: Alcoholic beverage consumption by location – Net, by race and Hispanic origin, July 2019
                                                • AFH Alcohol Consumption by Type

                                                  • RTD alcoholic beverages are primed for on-premise consumption
                                                    • Figure 40: Alcoholic beverage consumption by location – Net, July 2019
                                                    • Figure 41: Alcoholic beverage consumption by location, July 2019
                                                  • A variety of alcoholic beverages appeals to diners
                                                    • Figure 42: Repertoire of alcohol consumption – Net: any frequency, July 2019
                                                    • Figure 43: Carrabba’s Bar & Grill email: “Your Invited August Wine Dinner,” August 6, 2019
                                                • Changes in AFH Drinking

                                                  • Diners are drinking AFH more often
                                                    • Figure 44: Changes in AFH drinking, July 2019 and January 2018
                                                    • Figure 45: Changes in AFH drinking, by select demographics, July 2019
                                                    • Figure 46: Longhorn’s email: “Look inside the best gifts for dad”, 6/13/2019
                                                    • Figure 47: Shore Club’s frozen cocktail flight
                                                • Reasons for Drinking AFH More

                                                  • Socializing is a key driver for drinking AFH
                                                    • Figure 48: Reasons for drinking AFH more often, July 2019
                                                  • Men are more motivated by drink variety
                                                    • Figure 49: Reasons for drinking AFH more often, by gender, July 2019
                                                • Reasons for Drinking AFH Less

                                                  • Overall alcohol reduction accounts for decreased AFH drinking
                                                    • Figure 50: Reasons for drinking AFH less often, July 2019
                                                  • Health is a growing reason for drinking less AFH
                                                    • Figure 51: Reasons for drinking AFH less often, July 2019 and January 2018
                                                • On-Premise Alcohol Occasions

                                                  • Social occasions are top AFH drinking occasions
                                                    • Figure 52: On-premise alcohol occasions – Net: any drink, July 2019
                                                  • AFH drinkers choose beer for a broad spectrum of occasions
                                                    • Figure 53: On-premise alcohol occasions, July 2019
                                                  • Beers are for all occasions
                                                    • Wines are for food
                                                      • Spirits are for celebrations
                                                      • New Drink Trial Motivators

                                                        • One fifth of diners always try a new drink
                                                          • Figure 54: Adventurous drinker segmentation, July 2019
                                                        • Young, urban consumers most likely to try new drinks
                                                          • Figure 55: Adventurous drinker segmentation – Always try new drinks – CHAID – Tree output, July 2019
                                                          • Figure 56: Adventurous drinker segmentation – Sometimes try new drinks – CHAID – Tree output, July 2019
                                                        • Almost four in 10 choose drinks based on flavors
                                                          • Figure 57: New drink trial motivators – Net: any rank, July 2019
                                                        • Men motivated by branding
                                                          • Figure 58: New Drink Trial Motivators – Net: any rank, by age and gender, July 2019
                                                        • Quality seekers motivated by server recommendations
                                                          • Figure 59: New drink trial motivators – Net: any rank, by food and drink segmentation, July 2019
                                                      • Non-alcoholic Drink Motivators

                                                        • Diners want to be social with or without drinking
                                                          • Figure 60: Non-alcoholic drink motivators – Net: any rank, July 2019
                                                        • Men may need help with moderation; women with calorie reduction
                                                          • Figure 61: Non-alcoholic drink motivators – Net: any rank, by age and gender, July 2019
                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                        • Data sources
                                                          • Sales data
                                                            • Fan chart forecast
                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                  • Direct marketing creative
                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                        • Terms
                                                                          • Mintel food and drink shopper segmentation
                                                                          • Appendix – The Market

                                                                              • Figure 62: Total US sales and forecast of market, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-24
                                                                          • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                            • CHAID Analysis Methodology
                                                                              • Figure 63: Adventurous drinker segmentation – CHAID – Table output, July 2019

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