Knowledge is Power (and Money in Your Pocket): What drinks are topping sales nationally at restaurants and bars?

In wines by the glass, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay were the top sellers.   Both red and white blends are becoming popular and can be a great way to add some affordable options to your wine by the glass program.

With vodka being one of the best-selling spirits in the U.S. market, it is important to keep in touch with where it is positioned in the beverage marketplace.  Russian vodka prices will increase 17% over the next month.  Stock up while you can.

Did you know there are more than 600 flavored vodkas being sold in the U.S.?  Three more just hit the market last month (Ao, Russian Diamond and Leaf).  One of the most interesting brand flavors from this year was UV’s Sriacha vodka.  It was a hot seller.  Smirnoff’s new honey vodka will certainly be featured in seasonal cocktails.

For newly launched brands, it can be difficult to establish a foothold in the market.  For restaurants and bars, almost ¾ of the flavored vodka sales come from the top 10% brand leaders.  Female patrons consume the most of this flavored variety vodka.  New brands continue to be introduced but I expect we’ll see less new market entrants for 2014.  As a whole, flavored vodka sales have dropped 12% over the past 12 months.   Notably, well-established brands were an exception, with upward sales figures for Grey Goose Cherry Noir and Smirnoff Cranberry.  You’ll want to keep these in stock even if you begin to reduce your flavored vodka inventory.

While still strong sellers, to stay on top of the trends, you should begin to add flavored whiskey based cocktails to your menu and consider pulling back on your flavored vodka offerings.