According to a recent report, traffic at bars and restaurants is still sluggish. More so, in fact, than through the course of the rest of 2015.
Guestmetrics released their findings and found that on-premise traffic worsened during the 4 weeks through November 1, down 3% compared to last year. Total alcohol units sold were down 4.3%, much worse than year-to-date (down 2.9% so far for 2015). Total alcohol sales were down but not as much: 2.5% due to a combination of price and mix. Spirits continued to gain, while Beer was down 1% and Wine was down about 0.4 percent.
More alarmingly for beer makers, unit sales were down 6.9% during the latest 4 weeks versus down 4.8% YTD, while dollar sales were down 4.9 percent. Among beer categories, Imports improved, Cider remained flat, Craft experienced a share decline for the first time this year, and Premium Light was flat. Craft share drop was partly driven by weakness in seasonal offerings along with weakness in some of the larger brands, according to Guestmetrics. Autumn seasonal beers underperformed, with Märzen/Oktoberfest and Fruit/Pumpkin/Flavored beers surprisingly down at a time of year during which they tend to thrive.
Spirits unit growth was down 0.2% during the latest 4 weeks, actually better than the YTD trend and more importantly, dollars were up nearly 1.5 percent. Spirits categories that gained share were Tequila, Irish, Vodka, Gin, and Brandy. Domestic Craft Spirits’ share increased as well.
Wine volumes were down significantly, 7% during the latest 4 weeks, and dollar sales were down 5.7 percent. Cabernet Sauvignon, Prosecco, Sauvignon Blanc, Red Blend and Moscato gained share, while Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, Shiraz/Syrah and Pinot Gris were down.