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Spritzes surpass Espresso Martinis in US

The Spritz soared in popularity in the US last year, overtaking the Espresso Martini, but the Margarita remained the most sought-after cocktail.

Spritz cocktail
The Spritz cocktail surpassed the Espresso Martini to become the seventh most popular serve in the US

CGA by NIQ highlighted the most popular cocktails in the US on-trade during the third quarter of 2023 through its On Premise User Survey.

CGA said the ‘biggest winner’ of the last 12 months was the Spritz, which produced triple the number of order tickets it did in the third quarter of 2022.

It climbed eight places to become the seventh most popular cocktail choice, leaping past classic drinks such as the Espresso Martini and Bellini.

CGA previously highlighted the strong performance of the Espresso Martini, which entered the top 10 in 2022.

The Negroni also had a popularity boost, with the serve reporting the highest check value over the three months, followed by the Caipirinha and Manhattan.

The Bloody Mary and the Lemon Drop saw the biggest falls in rank change compared to 2022.

The Margarita remained the most popular serve, with its value velocity in the third quarter 20% higher than in 2022.

Moscow Mules, Mojitos and Martinis followed as the next most popular cocktails. Martinis had previously overtaken Moscow Mules for the second spot in the final quarter of 2022.

Tequila remains the most popular cocktail base in the on-trade, after taking a little market share from other leading categories like vodka and rum.

Data also showed that cocktail consumption is highest among those aged between 21 and 34. More than a third (37%) of US consumers in this demographic now drink cocktails – an increase of 31% on the previous year.

CGA’s Quarterly Cocktail Sales Tracker also showed that the value velocity of cocktail sales in the third quarter of 2023 was 13% ahead of the same period in 2022. Venues sold an average of 1,178 cocktails in the third quarter across 765 tickets, with an average price of US$13 and an average check value of US$83.

Cocktails accounted for 29 cents in every dollar spent on the spirits category in the three months.

Matthew Compton, CGA by NIQ’s regional director – North America, said: “It’s been another outstanding year for cocktails in the US on-premise. Beneath the top-line growth lie some significant evolutions in consumers’ cocktail habits and preferences, and responding to these shifts with agility is critical if brands and suppliers are to optimise strategy and maximise brand potential.”

We recently predicted the trends to watch out for in the cocktail world in 2024.

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