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Premiumisation drives UK cocktail culture

The UK is fast becoming a nation of cocktail connoisseurs, with 77% of drinkers happy to pay more for a better quality cocktail, according to new research.

The Porn Star Martini has seen 1,449% growth in sales, and is Be At One’s best-selling cocktail

UK bar chain Be At One has unveiled insights from its annual guest survey, completed by more than 5,000 customers, which highlights the UK’s “booming” cocktail culture.

The study revealed that consumers consistently consider quality of drinks to be more important than quantity during social occasions – with six in 10 (58%) guests stating that they can taste the difference between different spirits brands.

The survey also reveals that men are developing a preference for cocktails, with almost one third drinking a cocktail every time they go out.

According to the study, so-called ‘regional’ drinkers (people living outside of London) value the quality of atmosphere and experience far more than promotions such as ‘happy hour’.

In contrast, London’s drinkers were more demanding of deals in order to entice them into a venue – but were also prepared to spend the most, with almost half (47%) willing to pay between £8-10 on a cocktail.

Quality of drinks, a great experience and value for money through a happy hour are the top reasons cited by guests when choosing a venue.

Be At One has seen total cocktail sales across its bars rise by 406% since 2012, due to enhanced photography, menu design and flavour development. In 2016, the company sold almost two million cocktails.

The Porn Star Martini has seen 1,449% growth in sales and is the most popular cocktail on Be At One’s menu – representing 15% of all cocktail sales, with the group selling 1,500 per day across its 31 bars (over 500,000 per year).

The group has also seen growth in its range of ‘virtuous’ cocktails, which now account for around 7% of its sales mix.

Andrew Stones, operations director at Be At One, said: “Today’s cocktail drinkers are increasingly searching for quality and a premium experience when it comes to choosing a venue for a night out, both in terms of product and atmosphere.

“The results are in keeping with other research that shows greater discernment among drinkers – they are prepared to spend more on higher quality drinks. They graphically illustrate that our consistent focus on providing great cocktails, friendly service and party atmosphere continues to delight guests across the country.”

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