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Halloween Drinks Trends

Bloody Martini.JPG

The following is an extract from our Halloween Guide ebook, which you can download here.


It's indeed a time for the spirits, Vodka, Tequila, Bourbon, and Rum see a substantial sales uplift over Halloween. In fact, it’s vodka that gets the biggest boost. The occasion represents vodka’s principal rate of sale increase before the Christmas season arrives1.

With vodka cocktails such as the Pornstar Martini, Sex on the Beach, Woo Woo, and Cosmopolitan still riding high in the mainstream cocktail arena, popular with late night consumers, themed twists on these serves could be winners on the night2. You should also consider how you can showcase your super-premium vodkas, Mintel suggests Halloween is prime time for impulse purchases; 30% of those aged 27 to 36 are likely to make Halloween impulse buys3. 

As the nights get darker, it’s commonly accepted that consumer preference for spirits follows suit. Rum, with its presence in popular Halloween cocktails such as the Zombie and nautical themed brands, should be brought forward and given prime placings on your menu and back bar. Consider the range of Golden and Dark Rums you stock - an extra 18,000 Golden rum serves are likely to be sold on the day1.

Sales of Tequila grow by over 11% during the week of Halloween vs. the average1. The Mexican celebration of Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, falls on the 2nd of November this year allowing you to extend the spooky festivities into a week-long celebration. Premiumisation has truly taken hold of this spirit, so make sure you have a good bottle of premium 100% blue weber agave Tequila close at hand.

It’s the perfect time of year to refresh your wine list. Adding some warming, hearty reds will comfort us all as we transition into winter. Medium bodied herby or oaked styles such as Cotes du Rhone, Corbieres or Rioja will provide that toasty warmth, and pair nicely with the beetroot, mushrooms and squashes building up in the larder. Use textural or sensory descriptors for red wines such as velvety, smooth, rich, warming, silky, to appeal to consumers at this time of year.

Argentina's most famous wine, Malbec, is cementing its place as a new classic. It’s the second best performing still wine, growing in value by 26% this year to reach £67m in value4. 14% of customers name Malbec as a favourite grape and 17% of consumers prefer to purchase it from Argentina5. Elsewhere Italian wine sales have been performing strongly. Against the backdrop of a 2% drop in overall still wine sales, Italian Nero D’Avola has seen volumes grow by 59% while Primitivo has jumped 69%4.

With temperatures on the way down, offering a hot toddy alongside a range of boozy coffees will help raise profit margins on the typical cup of joe. For example, offering to add a little drop of whiskey or a measure of Irish Cream will maximise your coffee sales. Similarly, pairing a coffee with a measure of cognac is the perfect after dinner upsell.


Resource: The Halloween Guide


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  • Matthew Clark Avatar

    Sources

    1 CGA EPOS/Managed Volume Pool Jan 2018
    2 CGA Strategy Mixed Drinks Report, Q1 2017
    3 Mintel Research, 2017
    4 CGA 52 WE 22-05-18
    5 MCB Consumer Survey 2018

    Photo credit - Pouring Halloween cocktail from shaker, photo by Michael Wurm Jr for Shari's Berries www.berries.com

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