Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits recently shared insights into fall wine and cocktail trends in both the on- and off-premise categories. With limited space on the shelf and behind the bar, off- and on-premise beverage buyers must ensure their offerings and beverage menus are on-trend and relevant with continually evolving consumer drinking preferences.
“It’s so important for a beverage program to be in sync with a seasonal menu strategy,” said Bill Edwards, Senior Vice President, On-Premise National Accounts for Southern Glazer’s. “As we enter the fall, cocktails and wines that match the flavor profiles of seasonal restaurant menus will be the focus. For example, brown spirits, or cocktails with dark spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, go well with culinary offerings. Sparkling wines and spritzes, which have become increasingly popular with consumers, will also continue to bubble up on restaurant menus.”
“In the off-premise, shoppers are looking to recreate their favorite bar experience at home,” added Scott Moore, Senior Vice President, Off-Premise National Accounts for Southern Glazer’s. “In the fall, this will play specifically with Irish whiskeys, bourbons, and craft brands, all which have seen phenomenal growth this year.”
In both the on- and off-premise, supplier activations are becoming more about how their brands fit into occasions and the marketing calendar of the retailer. In restaurants, this means creating unique offerings that fit with upcoming fall holidays, as well as key daypart and mini occasions, like office holiday parties. With retailers, this means thematic, seasonal promotions and merchandising programs that appeal to shoppers at the point of purchase.
“Just look at a calendar for the fall and you’ll see not only the traditional holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, but also mini occasions like football and tailgating season,” commented Moore. Every occasion is an opportunity for a retailer or restaurant to create something innovative to drive traffic, engage the shopper or guest, and build rings at the register.”
Edwards added, “This includes creating signature programs around international events that have become more mainstream and that appeal to the important multicultural consumer. Dias de los Muertos is a perfect example – and more suppliers than ever will be activating brands both on- and off-premise around this holiday.”
The key takeaway this fall, and all year round, is to use insights and data to drive on- and off-premise execution.
“Information defines action, and this is where a distributor like Southern Glazer’s really adds value,” said Moore. “We have the largest database of consumer insights in the industry and know what’s pulling through from a consumer point of view.”
Edwards agrees. “We also have strategic alignment with our supplier base and can help our customers line up promotions to take advantage of big supplier initiatives. If you leverage a brand’s marketing spend with execution on the shelf or behind the bar, you can get a real multiplier effect to drive traffic and sales.”
Jeremy Nedelka is editor of StateWays magazine. Reach him at JNedelka@epgmediallc.com