Spirits sales in the on-trade have grown by 6.3% to £5.8bn and accounted for 61% of the total beers, wines and spirits growth for the 12 months to April this year, according to CGA Strategy.
More than 70% of spirits value sales in the on-trade came from vodka, liqueurs and specialities, gin and blended whisky. Vodka accounted for 32.3% of total sales, liqueurs and specialities made up 23.1%, gin 9.9% and blended whisky 6.8%.
Spirits are a clear key money driver for the on-trade, with sales expected to rise. If that’s not reason enough to come to the Future Trends: Spirits event, then here are 10 more:
1) Discover the emerging new non-alcoholic spirits category
Non-alcoholic spirit founder Ben Branson will take centre stage to give a talk on the emerging category of alcohol-free spirits, following the launch of his botanical-infused Seedlip product.
Find out why and how Branson managed to succeed in the challenge of creating a new spirits category when everyone else has failed and what it means for your business.
2) Cocktail Cabaret features bars galore!
This year, spirits makers big and small will be showcasing their brands in the Cocktail Cabaret, a session taking place in the second part of the day.
The Cocktail Cabaret forms one part of the day’s interactive activities, where spirits and soft drinks brands showcase their wares and highlight key trends in the sector.
Bars so far confirmed for the Cabaret include City of London Distillery, Masons Yorkshire Gin, Spirits of Harrogate (Slingsby) and Warner Edwards.
Be prepared to sample some of the greatest spirits in the UK
3) Guided gin tasting – what’s hot?
Renowned gin writer and educator David T Smith will guide you through the latest gins on the market from unique distillers in his gin tasting.
Sampling of each gin will take place as Smith takes delegates through the stories and flavours of some stand-out liquids.
Expect to wet your whistle with some of the newest gins on the market in this session.
4) How long will the gin bubble last and what’s next?
David T Smith is back on stage with his panel of experts to debate the longevity of the gin craze in the on and off-trade.
The highs and lows of the category will be the meat on the bones of the debate, while the panel will also attempt to predict which category could be the next big thing to take over in the UK.
5) Trends in figures for UK bars
Analysts from CGA Strategy will break down the key spirits trends in UK pubs and bars to give delegates the ammunition they need to put on the strongest spirits offer possible.
Find out which categories are top performers and which are flagging, so you don’t get caught out.
6) Overseas trends and their impact on the UK
Euromonitor International senior alcoholic drinks analyst Spiros Malandrakis will cast his expert eye on overseas trends to give UK operators the heads up on how things here might be affected.
Hear his top pick of spirits trends from abroad and whether or not there could opportunities to learn from.
7) Interactive sessions
Along with the Cocktail Cabaret, headline sponsors Diageo and Schweppes will showcase examples of exciting and innovative trends in the segment in their interactive sessions.
Diageo will be looking at sustainability on its presentation and interactive session, while Schweppes will talk about the carbonation revolution and what it means for the on-trade.
Be prepared to see and try some of the most innovative cocktails, made by expert bartenders, during these sessions.
8) Did you say study tour?
After the event The Morning Advertiser, headline sponsors Diageo and Schweppes, and associate sponsor Pernod Ricard UK, will take you for a tour of the very best London cocktail bars, highlighting the best practice and initiatives that you can bring into your business.
Trying and sampling spirits is a key part of the study tour, so be prepared to learn a lot.
9) Great British Pub Awards Cocktail of the year
You’re about to see a panel of drinks experts judge the Great British Pub Awards (GBPA) Cocktail of the Year competition. Not only that, you’re also going to help in the judging.
Five finalists in the GBPA Spirits Pub of the Year category were tasked with making a locally inspired cocktail, which will be judged at the Future Trends: Spirits event before it is revealed at the GBPA on 5 October.
You’ll taste each of the cocktails as the judging panel is quizzed on what they’re experiencing, as well as what makes them good and bad drinks.
10) How spirits training can boost your GP
The Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) will exclusively reveal the results of its research into the financial impacts of professional spirits training on bar staff.
This is the first time the results will be published. Training can be expensive, but the WSET claims the cost of any courses can be recuperated through additional sales.
To book your place at the Future Trends: Spirits event contact Joanne Horton by email at Joanne.Horton@wrbm.com or by phone on 01293 610 403.