GuestMetrics gathers data from the point-of-sales (POS) systems from restaurants and bars across the United States. So when you want to know how much craft cider sold in the last month compared to craft beer (that info’s below), these folks can tell you. Here’s what they’re saying about the last four weeks.
The on-premise channel started out 2015 with strong growth; traffic was up 2.6 percent and food and beverage sales were up 2.6 percent. “This is the single best month we have seen in years,” GuestMetrics stated. Casual dining traffic was up a solid 3.6 percent, Bars/Clubs were up 2.7 percent and Fine Dining was up 2.6 percent. The industry had an extremely easy comp from a year ago but nonetheless, underlying growth was solid. Comps will get sequentially tougher with each passing quarter of 2015.
Alcohol beverage volume was up 1.5 percent in January vs. a decline of 1.8 percent for full year 2014. Spirits led the way with 3.1 percent volume growth (vs. down 0.3 percent for 2014) while Wine was up 0.9 percent (vs. -0.8 percent for 2014) and Beer was up 0.3 percent (vs. down 3.4 percent for 2014). Beer had the biggest improvement relative to 2014 trends and wine had the least improvement.
Beer lost 0.2 percent share of alcohol beverage dollars vs losing 0.3 percent for 2014. Wine slowed, losing 0.3 percent share of dollars vs losing 0.1 percent of dollars for 2014. Spirits gained 0.5 percent share of dollars vs gaining 0.4 percent share of dollars for 2014. On a volume basis, beer improved its volume share losses relative to wine while spirits volume share gains remained steady.
The slowdown in wine trends mirrors what is happening in the off-premise; cider could be having an impact as cider volume share continues to gain 0.4 percent share of the beer category, but its share was up at least that in 2014 and wine has slowed relative to overall beer despite the consistent cider share gains.
Craft beer volume share was up 0.9 percent in January vs up 1.9 percent for 2014, a clear slowdown. Craft beer has over a 30 percent share of the on-premise beer category, so it appears to be slowing with the law of large numbers; the number of new craft offerings continues to grow strong as the overall segment is slowing, raising issues about the sustainability of this growth; Premium Light share was down 1.2 percent vs. down 1.9 percent for 2014, so a clear improvement in trends; Import share was down 0.3 percent.
Within the spirits category, Bourbons/Blends gained 0.8 percent volume share, Tequila gained 0.4 percent share and Irish Whisky gained 0.4 percent share, while Vodka lost 0.4 percent share and Rum lost 0.4 percent share.
Craft spirits gained 2.4 percent share vs. 1.9 percent for 2014, so it is accelerating; domestic craft now holds a 6.6 percent share of the on-premise spirits segment.