Wine pricing is starting to level out after a long period of volatility, according to a new report from Breakthru Beverage Group. The company’s research division found that consumers in the U.S. are beginning to show greater interest in premium wines and spirits.

A range of studies released earlier this year found that consumers are seeking out higher quality wine and craft cocktails. According to a report from Virginia Commonwealth University, premium wine has increased 42 percent over the past ten years. Craft cocktails are on the rise as well, with shoppers reporting a demand for “artisanal spirits” that are produced in small batches.

A new study by Nielsen Research has shown that consumer trends towards premium wine and cocktails are on the rise. The study showed that consumers are now more willing to pay a premium for superb products.. Read more about beverage trends 2021 and let us know what you think.

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Spending in bars and restaurants exceeds expectations across region, says COVID

10. June 2021. – With a growing number of bars and restaurants opening across the country, Breakthru Beverage Group, one of North America’s largest beverage distributors with a presence in the United States and Canada, is seeing particularly strong demand for premium wines and cocktails in its market area. With millennials and Gen Xers preferring to eat out after vaccinations, the cost of eating out has skyrocketed. Spending data in markets like South Carolina, Arizona, Florida and Virginia show a collective +6% increase in average sales in 2019.

We are seeing an unexpected increase in volume in markets that are more advanced in the reopening process as consumers are excited to be reunited with friends and family, said E. Lloyd Sobel, commercial director of Breakthru Beverage Group. Not only do consumers eat out more, they also spend more on a bottle of wine or a good quality cocktail. With a broad portfolio that spans the network and specializes in specific markets, we quickly refocused to help our customers meet this demand by adapting our cocktail menu and improving the quality of our drinks.

Breakthru leverages its world-class technology to transform data into breakthrough business intelligence to better understand consumer behavior and apply those insights to suppliers and customer partners in any market. Consumer spending data pointed to strong growth of 4% in March 2021, and consumer confidence was also approaching pre-pandemic levels. Breakthru’s data shows a nearly +$10 increase in the average price per box in April 2021, with four markets more than doubling that increase compared to 2019 (AZ, DC, DE, WI). Overall, premiumization continues to increase across all categories, with particularly strong growth in categories such as fine wine, ultra-premium tequila, mezcal, cognac and North American whiskey. Similarly, restaurant bookings increased in April in 9 of Breakthru’s 13 markets compared to the previous month (March). It is expected that this number will only increase during the summer season.

Even before the pandemic, we saw a steady trend toward premiumization of the fine wine category and educated consumers looking for more variety and unique wine experiences. Our team of highly skilled wine specialists at Aspect began working in the post-COVID era, providing concierge-style services and a more specialized approach to fine wine that helps our clients align their wine programs with consumer demand, says Daren Cliff, Senior Director, Breakthru Beverage Group, Aspect.

Consumers are also increasingly interested in the story behind the brand. Breakthru takes the representation of all partner brands in the last mile to the consumer very seriously. Whether it’s a new, organic or local brand, using virtual training and digital marketing programs to educate retail and bar/restaurant customers, and/or providing training manuals for sales associates, innovative engagement plans have proven highly successful.

We’re seeing a lot of requests from bar and restaurant owners who want to reopen their business with an updated menu of creative new cocktails made with premium craft spirits, says Alex Alfonso, beverage development specialist at Breakthru Beverage Group. Last year, many consumers stayed home and mixed classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned, Manhattan or Margarita with standard brands. Restaurant owners and beverage teams are now trying to attract consumers to the bar by using new and innovative cocktail recipes with brands not usually found in consumers’ home bars. The appeal of the different, the fresh and the new when developing cocktail menus this year complements the classics and increases the variety.

Breakthru Beverage Group is one of the largest wholesale distributors of alcohol in the United States and the largest broker in Canada, representing a full portfolio of alcoholic beverages, including spirits, wine and beer. Breakthru is committed to diversity, equality and inclusion and supports a variety of well-known organizations and local philanthropic initiatives across its North American footprint.  Breakthru takes a flexible and insightful approach to sales, marketing and operations in all markets. The family business is actively involved in the business community and is a guardian of heritage and a champion of innovation. For more information, see www.BreakthruBev.com.

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