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Consumer Trends

Technomic predicts alcohol sales growth

Technomic has revised its initial projections for alcohol sold away from home to a growth of 1.1 percent, up from a decline of 2.5 percent forecasted at the end of 2009.

"Our expectations for segments like casual dining, fine dining and bars are much higher than they were six months ago," says David Henkes, Vice President at Technomic and the director of the firm's on-premise practice.

  • Sales of beer and spirits are set to increase the most, growing at 1.2 percent and 1.6 percent respectively. Wine sales will continue to suffer and are projected to drop by 0.6 percent. Research indicates that consumers are still trading down to inexpensive wines and choosing to order by the glass instead of by the bottle.
  • Alcohol sales in all segments except casual dining are predicted to rise, with sales at bars, nightclubs and casinos set to grow the most at 2.1 percent. 

But Technomic warns that alcohol sales will continue to lag behind general restaurant and bar sales. “Recovery isn't as robust as it has been in previous recessions," says Henkes, who still advises operators to focus on alcohol sales, given its higher profitability.

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