Negroni drinkers; craft gin

How the Negroni is boosting consumer spend at bars

July 31, 2019
By Alana House

The growing popularity of the Negroni is having a lucrative knock-on effect for bars, with new data from Nielsen showing Negroni drinkers go out more, earn more and ultimately spend significantly more than the average consumer.

And it’s because Negroni fans prefer the most premium experiences.

The Negroni – which consist of Campari, vermouth and gin – celebrates its 100th birthday this year. The iconic cocktail was born in 1919 when Count Camillo Negroni entered a bar in Florence and asked for an Americano with gin instead of soda water, inspired by a recent trip to Britain.

According to Nielsen, the Negroni is benefiting from a resurgence in interest in bitter drinks, together with the emergence of two key trends: the experimentation of passionate distillers crafting their own amaros (Italian for “bitter”), and young, sociable consumers who are seeking fresh flavours, premium brands and memorable experiences when they visit their favourite bars and restaurants.

As such, Nielsen notes that adding Negronis to cocktail lists can be a significant asset for any on-premise establishment that is looking to engage premium-seeking cocktail drinkers.

According to Nielsen data, 36% of Negroni consumers in the US are between 25 and 34 years old. Negroni drinkers are also affluent, as they have an average income of about $85,000, which is $20,000 more than the average US consumer. They also enjoy spending their time—and money—going out for drinks to celebrate special occasions or just casually to meet up with friends.

“When it comes to spending money on alcohol, fans of the bitter cocktail don’t hold back—and they’re not homebodies,” Nielsen adds.

“In fact, 48% of Negroni drinkers say they’ve visited a fine dining establishment sometime over the last three months, which is well above 21% for the average US consumer.

So how can bars, restaurants and other on-premise venues make the most of this key opportunity?

“First, they need to understand the factors that influence Negroni drinkers to consume the classic cocktail,” Nielsen said.

“For starters, they are significantly more willing to pay a premium than the average US consumer is. With 47% of Negroni drinkers prioritizing the quality of spirits brands they consume and 45% considering the type of venue they’re at, these consumers also enjoy to wine and dine more often than the average consumer (24% and 36%, respectively), and at a higher price.

“Although Negroni drinkers expect to pay approximately $US10.66 for a standard cocktail, their penchant for premium gives bartenders an opportunity to engage them with Negronis backed by premium spirits, which cost $12.28 on average. That means with proper marketing, on-premise establishments could ride the Negroni bandwagon toward notable sales returns.”

Nielsen concludes: “So if you’re still unsure if you should add the Negroni to your cocktail menu, we say it’s worth a shot.”

Campari & Aperol boom in Australia

Bitter flavours have boosted Campari Group’s sales in Australia.

Half-year 2019 results show Campari Australia registered organic growth of 3.5%, with acceleration of 9.3% in the second quarter. This was led by Aperol growth of 26%, plus strong results for SKYY, Campari and Wild Turkey ready-to-drink and bourbon.

Globally, Campari sales were up 10%.

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