Some 20% of On-Premise consumers typically visit experiential bars such as karaoke bars and comedy clubs this year, according to the latest research from CGA by NIQ. That's two percentage points higher than last year.
Not surprisingly, the highest volume of visits is among those who are 35-54 years old (46%) and 21-34 years old (42%). The report finds 66% of experiential bargoers visit monthly, and 42% visit weekly. Additionally, almost two thirds of weekly visitors to this channel order both food and drinks, or just drinks, outpacing consumers making weekly visits to other types of venues.
As consumers most commonly visit with groups of friends and/or a spouse or partner, it’s a Santa-approved opportunity for brands to align with groups of merrymakers, by offering group serves and deals. There’s a specific window to target cocktail drinkers with these group offerings as 72% (+10pp vs consumer average) are most likely to visit with friends.
Consumption levels of RTDs (24%) and hard seltzers (23%) are highest in experiential bars, making the experiential bar space a crucial channel for suppliers looking to capitalize in these categories, as well as understanding how to meet the needs of these consumers.
So then, what of the wide variety of experiential bar types that are seeing engagement? Karaoke bars and comedy clubs are most popular, with 43% and 40% of consumers respectively saying they’re likely to visit in the next 12 months. This presents a range of avenues for brands and suppliers to give holiday cheer.
After all, while almost three in five channel visitors say they usually know what category they’ll drink before they’ve arrived at a venue, nearly seven in 10 of these say they could change their drink decision when they’re ordering in an experiential bar. This reflects enticing potential to influence visitors with on-site promotions and marketing collateral, bartender incentives, and prominence on menus, ensuring the holidays are merry and bright.
Matthew Crompton, Regional Director - Americas said: “Consumers are increasingly looking for fun activities and experiences in the On Premise, which is reflected in the continued prevalence of experiential venues. At Christmas, there’s a double whammy of partygoers having nights out with colleagues, plus people getting together with friends and family both before and after the big day. It’s an unmissable opportunity for brands to explore more deeply what elements create the ideal experience for consumers in the channel, and potential for targeted promotions, such as the range of options available, and serve preferences.”