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Bars driving in-store drinks purchases

More than half of US consumers have made an in-store purchase of a drinks brand they first tried in a bar or restaurant, new research has shown.

The survey also revealed that two-in-five consumers plan to visit the on-trade more often next year

Data analyst CGA by Nielsen IQ has released a report which reveals that bars and restaurants are ‘essential’ for driving awareness of ‘trial’ drinks brands.

The survey revealed that 61% of consumers are more likely to look for new brands in the on-trade than in a shop, and 54% stated they have made an in-store purchase of a drink they first tried in the on-trade.

Matthew Crompton, CGA regional director – North America, said: “Our research highlights that consumers are open to trial and experimentation in the on-premise, and that this is driving their in-store purchasing decisions.

“It’s clear that the channel has a vital role in building brand awareness and strengthening brand loyalty, with suppliers who invest in their on-premise strategies well placed to deliver on their targets within the off-trade.”

The report surveyed 1,600 consumers in US states Florida, Texas, California and New York.

CGA noted that the results underline ‘how important venues are in building brand awareness and encouraging trial’.

The research also revealed that the frequency of visits to the on-trade have remained ‘stable’, with four-in-five consumers visiting bars and restaurants three or more times in the last three months.

Plans for visiting are also labelled as ‘very positive’ by CGA, with around 73% of US consumers planning to go out in the next weeks.

The data analyst also pointed out that consumers trying new brands in bars and restaurants helps to ‘build loyalty’ – with two-thirds of consumers agreeing that if they try a new brand they like in a bar or restaurant, they will continue drinking it on subsequent visits.

Looking to 2023, two-in-five consumers responded that they will visit the on-trade ‘more or much more often’ than they did in 2022, while half plan to maintain their current frequency of visitation.

In October, CGA reported that the average price of spirits in the US on-trade has risen 6% in the 12 weeks prior, compared with the same period in 2021.

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