How can operators and suppliers get ahead in an ultra-competitive sector? CGA’s Rachel Weller shared some of the secrets of success at this week’s Drink Tank conference.

1 Target the loyalists

With 70% of drink-led visits to the on-trade made by just 20% of consumers, it’s clear that pubs and bars are competing for a relatively small core. Keeping them happy is the number one goal—and by revealing the habits of these frequent drinkers, CGA’s MATCH segmentation service can help.

2 Embrace premiumisation

With the volume of on-trade drinks sales down by 0.8% in the last year, but value up by 2.8%, many people are drinking less but drinking better. And since 89% of value growth is coming from premium categories, it’s essential to stock the right combination of brands. MATCH segmentation shows that groups including ‘Mainstream Minded’ and ‘Family Pit Stoppers’ are also starting to choose premium options now—so all venues need to properly understand their make-up of guests and flex the range accordingly.

3 Be part of healthy lifestyles

BrandTrack research shows that two thirds (65%) of Britons are proactively trying to lead a healthy lifestyle—and it’s starting to show in their out-of-home drinking behaviour. More than half (55%) of late-night consumers have stayed off alcoholic drinks on a night out over the last six months, and a third (32%) have drunk a no or low alcohol alternative in that time. The no-low sector is small for now—but it’s a good avenue for reaching health-conscious drinkers.

4 Give people an experience

Half (53%) of consumers say they have visited at least one ‘third space’ event in the last six months. This is giving them a taste for immersive and game-based activities when they go out to eat and drink, and upping the ante for pubs, bars and drinks brands to create different and compelling experiences.

5 Prove the purpose

Consumers increasingly care not just about what you offer but how you deliver it. They want to know why you do what you do too—so telling the story of your mission and your drinks can provide a big competitive advantage.

CGA's strategic initiatives director, Rachel Weller

6 Get Instagrammable

Nearly half (45%) of consumers now share images or videos on social media every or most times they go out—and a third (33%) say if they don’t post something, it’s like a night out never happened. Exciting, theatrically presented drinks and attractive, colourful environments can encourage these social media users to promote your brand on Instagram and elsewhere.

7 Show sustainability

Consumers are piling the pressure on brands to demonstrate commitment to sustainability. Nine in ten say it’s important that places they visit use environmentally packaging and ingredients, so it’s important that brands talk confidently about sourcing, carbon footprints and other sustainability issues.

To discover how CGA’s deep insights into the drinks sector and consumers’ habits can help all operators and suppliers grow sales, contact Rachel Weller.


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