The beer, wine and spirits categories have evolved in markedly different manners over the last few years — especially when it comes to on-premise channels. When we want to understand growth rates and market trends, specifically at bars, restaurants and public watering holes, we turn to the big brains at GuestMetrics. They gather data from the point-of-sales (POS) systems from restaurants and bars across the United States, and that info’s pure goddamn gold. Here’s what they’re saying about August:
The on-premise channel was weak in the latest four weeks ending 8/9/15, with traffic down 2.7 percent vs. down 1.5 percent YTD. The consumer remains cautious with discretionary spending, and it’s unsure whether lower gas prices will drive any improvement as we head into the final months of the year.
Share changes between alcohol beverage categories: Beer trends improved from the prior month. Beer unit share was down 0.5 percent in the latest four weeks (vs. down 0.8 percent YTD), wine share was down 0.1 percent (vs. flat YTD) and spirits share was up 0.6 percent (vs. 0.8 percent YTD).
Total Alcohol: Total alcohol units sold was -3.4 percent during the four weeks (vs. down 2.8 percent YTD), a function of weak overall traffic.
Beer: Beer unit growth was -4.6 percent during the latest four weeks vs down 4.8 percent YTD.
Beer Segments: Craft’s y/y share gains slowed significantly from the +1.8 share point gain in 2014 and +1.0 last 12 weeks to only +0.7 percent during the latest four weeks; Premium Light’s y/y share loss has moderated from -1.9 during 2014 to -1.2 points on the four weeks; Imports’ y/y share loss moved from -0.3 during the latest 12 weeks to flat during the latest four weeks, driven by strength in Mexican imports; and Cider’s y/y share gain slowed fairly significantly from +0.5 during 2014 to +0.2 during the latest 12 weeks and last four weeks.
Overall Spirits: Spirits unit growth was -1.9 percent during the latest four weeks, below the -0.9 percent YTD trend as traffic remained weak.
Spirits Categories: Segments gaining y/y share of spirits during the four weeks are Tequila, Irish and Brandy/Cognac, coming at the expense of Rum, Cordials, and Vodka.
Craft Spirits: Domestic Craft Spirits continue to take market share at a strong pace.
Overall Wine: Wine volumes were -3.9 percent during latest 4 weeks vs. down -2.7 percent YTD.