Some 9m consumers are drinking cocktails when they are out, according to CGA. The popularity of cocktails and them being more widely available, has helped drive sales through the on-trade by 10% over the past 12 months taking the market value of the category to £587m, according to CGA’s Mixed Drinks Report Q1 2019.
The number of licensed venues selling cocktails has increased by 7% in the past year with 42,000 on-trade outlets now stocking them.
Wet-led pubs have been particularly fast to respond to demand, with a rising number selling pre-prepared or draught cocktails, CGA said.
Based on share of serve throughout the on-trade, the top mainstream cocktail is the vodka-based Pornstar Martini with sales having risen by 2% over the past 12 months with it accounting for 15.3% of cocktails sold.
The Mojito is the nation’s second favourite cocktail, accounting for 12.4% of mainstream sales – down by 1.2% on last year.
The rest of the top 10 cocktails include the Long Island Iced Tea, Sex on the Beach, Daiquiri, Woo Woo, Espresso Martini, Martini, Pina Colada and Collins – a sour cocktail served over ice with lemon, sugar and fizzy water.
CGA drinks expert Charlie Mitchell said: “There are two clear trends coming through in the mainstream consumer’s preferences for cocktails – that of shorter, more complex, drinks with a higher ABV like the Martini cocktails but also a growing preference for longer, more refreshing drinks such as the Collins, which has a more sophisticated, less sweet flavour profile.
“Tastes have moved away from fruity, sweet drinks with the Woo Woo, Sex on the Beach and Cosmopolitan losing the most favour over the past 12 months.
“The growing popularity of Aperol Spritz and other spritz serves are part of the trend towards a light, more refreshing drink with a lower ABV and fewer ingredients allowing the taste of the base spirit to come through.”
The report also discovered draught or ready-made cocktails are starting to impact the market although, some drinkers have doubt over the quality.
More than half (63%) of consumers who have seen draught cocktails have bought them and 83% who have tried pre-batch cocktails said they were likely to have them again.
Mitchell added: “This research illustrates how important it is for drinks suppliers and operators to understand the developments and trends taking place within the growing cocktails category.
“This will help them provide what the customer wants, when they want it in order to maximise the cocktail opportunity and keep up with tastes that are becoming ever-more sophisticated.”