Insight from out-of-home food and drinks data and research consultancy CGA reveals the nation’s top ten cocktails and a 10% increase in on-trade cocktail sales over the last year.
According to CGA’s Mixed Drinks Report Q1 2019, nine million consumers are enjoying cocktails when they go out, making this one of Britain’s fastest growing drinks categories within spirits.
The popularity of cocktails, and the fact they are more widely available, has helped boost sales through Britain’s pubs, bars and restaurants by 10% over the past 12 months, taking the market value to £587m.
The number of licensed premises selling cocktails has risen 7% in the past year, with some 42,000 on-trade outlets now stocking them.
Based on share of serve through the on-trade, number one in the ‘Top 10’ list of mainstream cocktails is the vodka-based, passionfruit flavoured Pornstar Martini. Sales of the drink have risen 2% over the past 12 months with the drink, now accounting for 15.3% of cocktails sold.
Having fallen from its top slot, the white-rum based Mojito is Britain’s second favourite cocktail, accounting for 12.4% of mainstream sales, down 1.2% on last year.
Occupying the rest of the Top 10 are Long Island Iced Tea (+2.1%), Sex on the Beach (-1.5%), Daiquiri (+1.6%), Woo Woo (-1.6%), Espresso Martini (=%), Martini (+2.9%), Pina Colada (+0.1%) and at number 10, the gin-based Collins (+0.8%), a sour cocktail served over ice with lemon, sugar and fizzy water.
CGA drinks expert Charlie Mitchell said: “There are two clear trends coming through in the mainstream consumer’s preference for cocktails – that of shorter, more complex drinks with a higher-ABV like the Martini cocktails, but also a growing preference for longer, more refreshing drinks such as the Collins which has a more sophisticated, less sweet flavour profile.
“Tastes have moved away from fruity, sweet drinks with the Woo Woo, Sex on the Beach and Cosmopolitan losing the most favour over the past 12 months.
“The growing popularity of Aperol Spritz and other spritz serves are part of the trend towards a lighter, more refreshing drink with a lower-ABV and fewer ingredients allowing the taste of the base spirit to come through.”
The report also reveals that draught or ready-mixed cocktails are starting to make an impact in the on-trade. 63% of consumers who have seen draught cocktails have purchased them and 83% who have tried pre-batched cocktails said they were likely to repurchase.
Charlie added: “This research illustrates how important it is for drinks suppliers and operators to understand the developments and trends taking place within the growing cocktails category.
“This will help them provide what the customer wants, when they want it in order to maximise the cocktail opportunity and keep up with tastes that are becoming ever-more sophisticated.”