Despite significant drops in average on-premise outlet sales, new BeverageTrak data from Nielsen CGA revealed several new positive trends for on-premise businesses struggling in the wake of COVID-19.
At face value, on-premise figures are stark for both suppliers and retailers, with the average outlet’s beer sales down -33% against pre-COVID-19 velocities (as of the week ending Oct. 10). However, Nielsen CGA’s latest consumer research, backed up by check-level sales data in BeverageTrak, revealed critical context around changing consumer behavior and the promising trends that are emerging.
A key trend revealed is the significant shift in check value. Prior to COVID-19, checks with at least one beer had an average value of $43; this has now risen +17% to $50. This jump in check value data shed light on several new on-premise consumer trends: maximizing the occasion, trading up (premiumization) and the wider ‘treat’ mentality.
The data seems to highlight how COVID-19 has forced a change in consumer behavior and spend. With four in five (79%) on-premise visitors now staying in a single venue or reducing the number of places they visit, there may be an opportunity to engage with guests for longer and tap into the ‘treat’ mentality. This is emphasized by the 53% of consumers who agree that they are now more likely to treat themselves on bar or restaurant visits than they were before the pandemic. Two in five (39%) on-premise visitors say they are now more willing to trade up to a premium drink while out than they were before COVID-19, according to the Nielson CGA data.
Good news for craft beer.