Tequila-Based Cocktails Pulling Away from Vodka- or Whiskey-Based

CGA by NIQ’s latest industry-leading cocktail sales tracker, powered by BeverageTrak, reveals which cocktails are igniting the palates of US consumers visiting the On Premise, and how beverage suppliers can optimize brand potential by understanding the trends.

Despite Q2 2023 seeing a dip in velocity versus this time last year, the cocktail category has performed comparably to previous quarters, with the average price and check value remaining strong.

Consistency is also evident amongst the top performing cocktails for value velocity, with Margarita, Moscow Mule , Martini , Mojito , and Espresso Martini topping the table.

But it’s a different picture when analyzing the data by rank change versus 2022. The biggest winners include the Spritz, Espresso Martini, Julep, Tequilla Sunrise, and Gin Fizz. While the classic Margarita continues to perform strongly, other cocktails are faring notably well over all metrics.

For example, Espresso Martini continues to increase in popularity, performing well thanks to high average prices and check values, and gaining a place in the top 10 over each quarter for value velocity. In addition, the Spritz is performing well in the latest quarter, jumping into the top 10 for the first time in the history of the tracker, thanks to an increase quantity sold.

Driven by strong performances of Margaritas and Tequila Sunrises, Tequila-based cocktails, remain the most popular, pulling further away from Vodka-based cocktails such as Bloody Marys and Cosmopolitans as the year has gone on. Although a solid performance by Espresso Martini is clearly bucking this downward trajectory. Meanwhile, Whiskey-based cocktails have also lost share over the year, losing out to Gin and Rum-based cocktails.

Despite seeing a dip in velocity compared to the same period last year,  the cocktail has performed comparably to previous quarters. As a result, it continues to be a compelling proposition to brands and suppliers seeking to leverage the most best-loved cocktails and also the spirits that are enjoying current and/or seasonal favor.

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Jamie Larson