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Bacardi Seeing Shifts In Consumers’ On-Premise Habits

September 7, 2022

As the on-premise continues to recover from the pandemic, consumers have been returning to the channel in large numbers. But that doesn’t mean it’s a straight rewind back to 2019. Consumers flocking back to restaurants and bars gained increased sophistication as they pivoted to making cocktails at home during the pandemic, and are favoring more premium spirits in their drinks choices, while shifting the timing of some of their on-premise visits.

“Hybrid working has changed how people socialize, and this shift impacts the hours that people now frequent bars and restaurants,” says Jacob Briars, Bacardi’s global trade advocacy director, who handles outreach to the on-premise. “The increased flexibility allows for work meetings to become work cocktails with people going out through the week at earlier hours. We’re now seeing more bar guests visiting these venues in the late afternoon and early evening, versus the spike these places have traditionally experienced during happy hour and beyond into later in the night.”

On-premise operators are pivoting to the slightly different timing while also striving to meet the heightened expectations of more savvy consumers post-pandemic. “Consumers are returning with a greater appreciation for mixology and an increased appetite for sophisticated cocktails. They also expect these drinks to look ‘Insta-worthy’ and be served with speed,” says Briars.

On the other hand, staffing continues to be an issue for on-premise players. “Many outlets are currently plagued with staffing shortages and are facing difficulties in coping with the expectations of their guests. This has led to more widespread adoption of solutions like batched cocktails and cocktails-on-tap that have moved from niche to mainstream,” Briars notes. “We’ve experienced this with the sales of our premium batched cocktail brand, Tails Cocktails Professional Range, made specifically for bartenders to serve up high-quality cocktails in seconds.”

In addition, Bacardi is leveraging the RTD cocktail segment on-premise with two fresh offerings under the flagship rum brand’s Real Rum Cocktails line, Piña Colada and a Mojito Variety Pack with new Mango Mojito and Strawberry Mojito variants. Meanwhile, the Tequila boom has boosted Patrón on-premise, Briars notes, and other upscale offerings like Angel’s Envy and Grey Goose are also benefiting from the premiumization trend.

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