Bar sales should grow in 2010 - Technomic

Bar sales should grow in 2010 - Technomic

Consultancy group Technomic has said that alcoholic drinks sales in the US on-trade have performed better than expected so far in 2010.

Drinks sales in US bars and restaurants are expected to grow by 1.1% in value this year, said Technomic today (21 July).

The group, which specialises in food and drink sector research, predicted at the end of 2009 that on-trade alcohol sales would fall by 2.5% in 2010.

"Consumers are returning to restaurants, and that’s good news for the sales of alcohol and related products,” said David Henkes, Technomic vice president and director of the group's on-trade research division.

Bars, casinos and high-end restaurants will lead the resurgence in drinks sales, with beer set to outpace spirits and wine, according to the body.

However, Henkes told just-drinks that volume sales in the on-trade will remain under pressure in 2010. "Volume isn't likely to grow - in fact, it will likely continue to see slight declines," he said.

Alcohol sales by volume fell by 3% in the on-trade last year, according to drinks industry figures, as the US recession accelerated a consumer shift to drinking at home.

Henkes added that a sluggish economic recovery in the US may impact the on-trade further. "While it’s good news that we’re starting to see growth after nearly two years of declines, the industry is not out of dangerous territory yet, and the recovery isn’t as robust as it has been in previous recessions," he said.

Retail drinks sales for at-home consumption in the US have increased by 21% since 2004 to reach around US$80bn, market research group Mintel said earlier this month.

Drinks companies are seeking to target at-home drinkers by increasing innovation on pre-mixed cocktails.