3 drink and snack trends to look out for in on-trade

The latest in the world of alcoholic and soft drinks, plus super bar snacks

RTD cocktails

Over the past two years, sales have been booming for the canned cocktail category, or as the Americans call them, ‘hard seltzers’. The drinks market analyst IWSR predicts that the ready-to-drink (RTD) market will increase by 23% between 2019 and 2023 in the US. The UK promises to follow a similar path.

For on-trade, they offer a cost-effective and quick way to satisfy a customer’s cocktail desire. With more and more of the big brands getting on board, it gives customers a chance to try a premium cocktail for a value for money price.

Bacardi’s Real Rum Cocktails and Southern Comfort Lemonade and Lime are great examples of how good quality RTD cocktails can be. Low calorie and low ABV RTDs are ones to watch as customers, particularly the younger demographic – millennials – are looking for healthier options.

Low ABV cocktails

Non alcoholic and low ABV spirits

It’s not big news anymore that the low and no ABV market is wildly expanding as some customers look to cut down on alcohol or go for a healthier option. IWSR analysts forecast that the no and low ABV market will grow by 6% per annum on average by 2023. It’s the fastest-growing drinks segment in the UK.

Non-alcoholic spirits are one category that’s creeping up. GlobalData reports that sales of non-alcoholic spirits grew 506% from 2014-2019. And they forecast it to double again over the next five years.

Capitalise on this trend by selecting a couple of key lines. Advertise you’re now selling them; an opening 2-for-1 promotion will get them noticed.

Our top picks

During these Covid-19 times, customers want to treat themselves to something more premium. Unlike juices and other soft drinks, these spirits offer a taste similar to alcohol so non-drinkers don’t feel like they’re missing out.

Earlier this year, Bacardi launched its non-alcoholic Martini Aperitivo range, which uses the same wines as their vermouths but with the alcohol removed.

The Clean Liquor Company, owned by Spencer Matthews (aka ‘Made in Chelsea’ star), is getting lots of interest at the moment with its range of 1.2% low alcohol gin and rum. Try their low ABV Clean Cobbler cocktail.

Healthy snacks

Although we reached for the old comforts of crisps and chocolate during lockdown, there is growing demand for more virtuous snacks. Don’t miss out on this opportunity in pubs and bars.

Snacks don’t have to be confined to home or work. A bar snack that ticks the healthy and quality boxes is a good thing, particularly for the growing number of customers concerned about their health.

Popcorn and unsalted nuts are great options. There’s also been a meat snacks trend in recent years so make sure you offer high protein meats such as beef jerky or biltong as well. Remember to get single-serves. Sharing bags are currently a no-no.

Healthy snack: cashew nuts
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