Cocktail tastes change with the seasons, and this winter brought lots of boozy surprises, including slightly inflated pricing and a revived classic.
CGA by NielsenIQ’s quarterly cocktail report reveals that cocktail prices increased by an average of $1 year-over-year during the last quarter of 2022. Traffic and individual check value also soared with the price increase — up by 6 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Cocktail sales value remained static between the third and fourth quarters, per a CGA by NielsenIQ press release.
Among the report’s other findings are a changing perspective on classic cocktails; the Martini quickly became popular, replacing the Moscow Mule as the No. 2 most-popular drink order. Margaritas reign supreme at the most popular drink in the United States, holding strong at No. 1 this quarter. It was also the top drink in the third quarter of 2022.
Other buzzy orders include the spirit-forward Old Fashioned and the Manhattan. Fruity, summery cocktails are falling behind, though — both the Mojito and Piña Colada, along with other rum-based drinks, fell in popularity this quarter.
“Our latest tracker results demonstrate the changing dynamics of the category, and the influence of changing consumer preferences and drinks choice has on velocity performance,” client solutions director Andrew Hummel states in the release. “Despite rising check value, consumers continue to opt for cocktails when prioritizing visits out to bars and restaurants.”
A previous NielsenIQ report published last fall identified the Espresso Martini as a newcomer to the top 10 most popular cocktails list. In the fourth quarter, the buzzy beverage increased by 26 percent in value velocity. However, NielsenIQ attributes the 6 percent increase in traffic rather than an indication of rising popularity.