Predicting growth in spirits, wine and beer, Technomic is forecasting a 1.9 percent sales increase for alcohol in restaurants in 2011. Pricier cocktails may be on the rebound, as spirits-based drinks are expected to achieve a 2.3 percent gain, while the prevalence of wine-by-the glass and less expensive bottlings will hold wine to 1.4 percent growth. Beer is expected to record a 1.6 percent increase.
“While a positive forecast is good news for bars and restaurants, the fact is that we’re comparing 2011 to a very weak year in 2010,” explains David Henkes, Vice President of Technomic and head of the firm’s On-premise Practice. “There are still some longer-term structural issues in the economy, including unemployment, that tell us that the improvement in alcohol sales won’t be as robust as it has been after previous downturns.”
The forecast represents a slightly faster rate of growth than what’s predicted for 2010. Earlier this year, Technomic projected beverage alcohol sold in bars, restaurants and other on-premise establishments to grow by 1.1 percent in 2010, a sharp change from the decline of 2.5 percent originally forecasted at the end of 2009.
As for the overall foodservice industry, Technomic released a forecast in October calling for a flat year in 2010 (0.3 percent growth) and growth of 1.7 percent next year, primarily stemming from increased spending that will result from an uptick in menu prices.
Henkes will be on hand at the VIBE Conference in Las Vegas to present a hotel-focused workshop entitled “Deep Dive into Consumer F&B Trends & Behaviors.”