Cocktail sales in the UK have grown by more than 10% over the last two years, but the Mojito remains drinkers’ favourite, according to a new report.
The Mixed Drinks Report 2014 from on-trade research specialist CGA Strategy reveals that more than one in five (22%) of the country’s on-trade venues now serve cocktails on the back of the 10.8% two-year rise.
Despite incredible innovation in the content and presentation of drinks, it is the Mojito that remains the biggest-selling cocktail across the on-trade. Other favourites such as the Pina Colada, Woo Woo and Sex on the Beach have grown as cocktails spread into more mainstream venues.
Contrary to some popular perceptions, it is not just women who enjoy cocktails, with the split between female (54%) and male (46%) drinkers fairly even.
In addition, among the core demographic of 18- to 35-year-olds, cocktails are becoming a drink for all on-trade occasions, with consumers increasingly choosing to drink cocktails throughout the night rather than just at the start.
The Mixed Drinks Report found that cocktails are surging in popularity among young adults in particular. The proportion of under-35s who say they have bought a cocktail in the last week has jumped over the last year from 36% to 43%.
Bomb serves and pitchers of cocktails are especially popular. Three quarters (74%) of 18- to 24-year-olds have bought a bomb drink, while nine in ten (88%) in the same age range say they drink pitchers.
More outlets serve cocktails in London than in any other region. Scotland, Yorkshire and Lancashire also have high concentrations.
Tom Lynch, commercial director at CGA Strategy, said: “Cocktails and the bars and pubs that serve them have been surging in popularity over the last few years and our latest research emphasises just how integrated they’ve become to mainstream drinking.
“They present a terrific opportunity for bars and pubs to drive footfall and increase spend – but only if they can fully understand what customers want from a cocktail menu and give them a consistent experience every time.”
Pictured: Mojito, from on-trade supplier Matthew Clark