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Industry Trends at Rack's Bar and Kitchen

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We asked our customers, Racks Bar & Kitchen, to let us know the trends they had being seeing in the On-Trade this summer. Take a look at what they said...

Racks Bar & Kitchen located in Bristol, just off Whiteladies Road, has been up and running since October 1982. Over the years we have been party to continuous changes and recurring trends in the drinks industry, from shifts in demographics to the popularity of certain products. Now that we are in the summer party season of 2016, we’re taking a look back at some of our predictions for the trends 2016 would turn out!


The popularity of prosecco has been steadily increasing over the past 5 years, owed in part to it’s affordability, the popularity of this is particularly relevant with the 25-35 female market. The lightness of the drink and relatively low calories has definitely aided this as people are becoming increasingly health conscious. We introduced our £2.50 prosecco offer around 2 months ago and we have seen a huge uptake for the offer, particularly in the afternoons. The prosecco we sell is Da Luca, and the offer has recently been expanded to include pink prosecco.


One surprising success of summer 2016 has been Mojitos, which we sell by the pint for £8. This has in part overtaken Pimms as a summer drink of choice, the freshness of the mint and the citrus has proven very popular with our summer BBQ’s and terrace parties this year. Racks isn’t traditionally a cocktail bar, but the relatively easy to make Mojito, which is made with Havana Rum 3 Year Old from Matthew Clark, is something we wanted to experiment with. As a result, our rum sales have increased by at least 40%.


For years, Pimms has been the most popular drink that our customers buy on hot summer days, and year after year is extremely popular with our BBQ & hog roast parties. Now, in 2016, this is a trend we can predict, which makes summer the ideal time for a good supply of refreshing pimms which is always featured prominently in our venues.


One of our most popular food offers is Steak Thursday, now in it’s 5th year we find that our customers are much more inclined to drink a glass of red wine with their steak meal. To compliment our rib eye steak – Malbrontes Malbec is a favourite with our customers. This particular red wine goes well with its medium to full body and the crisp acidity compliments the red meat perfectly.

Our sister restaurant No. 4 Clifton Village have found Waipara Hills, Sauvignon Blanc wine to be very popular with their private dining bookings. Waipara Hills is a strong favourite as it gives off hints of melon, lychee & passion fruit, acting as a refreshing palette cleanser, which is why this is such a popular choice. No.4’s seasonal menu, which their award winning head chef changes daily, is made to compliment their top wines of the month and with the freshest ingredients to hand. This factor plays a big part in the popularity of their wines and recently, Waipara Hills in particular.


After Hendricks changed the gin game a few years ago, a lot of our customers showed an interest in tasting a range of gins displayed on our gin lane menu, as well as taking our gin masterclasses. As a result, we now feature a gin of the week, which is prominently displayed behind the bar, this has affected our sales of certain gins and challenged our customers willingness to try some of the lesser known brands.

The popularity of gin with the female market has been on the increase for quite some time, with brands such as Monkey 47 and Williams Gin and their interesting branding, not to mention their more conceptual distilling process which is opening up the palette of discerning gin lovers. We serve Hendricks gin with rose petals in the glass, while Bathtub, Beefeater, Gin Mare, and our other gins come with Fevertree, Fever tree Light and Fevertree Elderflower tonic which is used in our cocktail, ‘The Racks Cup’. These variations on the traditional G&T have certainly widened their appeal, the drinks look more distinctive and eye catching.


With an increasing range of gin brands becoming more available and suiting a more discerning palette this Christmas Party season is set to be a record breaker for gin, we aim to continue increasing our gin menu, taking on lesser known brands as our customers are more and more willing to try these new offerings.

Our ability to stay ahead of drinks trends and keep up with the market has been possible thanks to the team at Matthew Clark, they know our customers and will always suggest products which sit firmly in line with us here at Racks and in our other venues The Square and No. 4 Clifton Village. We are sure that 2017 will be another fantastic year and we very much look forward to the new products Matthew Clark introduce.

If you want to find out more about how we can help with your drinks range and marketing, speak to your account manager or if not yet a customer, get in touch.

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