The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

How to add more ‘sparkle’ to your on-premise this holiday season

With the holiday season approaching, CGA by NIQ has taken a look at how consumers proactively seek ways to bond with their loved ones and friends during the holidays.

According to CGA by NIQ’s Channel Strategy Study, two in five (20%) of on-premise consumers typically visit experiential bars, two percentage points higher than in 2022, with the highest volume visitation amongst 35-54 year olds (46%) and 21-34 year olds (42%).

The report reveals that experience-led channels represent a huge opportunity for brands to win amongst those highly engaged with the on-premise – 66% of experiential bargoers visit monthly, and 42% visit weekly.

Additionally, the study says almost two thirds of weekly visitors to this channel order both food and drinks, or just drinks, outpacing consumers making weekly visits to other types of venues.

As consumers most commonly visit with groups of friends and/or a spouse or partner, it’s an approved opportunity for brands to align with groups of festive consumers, by offering group serves and deals.

There’s a specific window to target cocktail drinkers with these group offerings as 72% (+10pp vs consumer average) are most likely to visit with friends.

The study says consumption levels of RTDs (24%) and hard seltzers (23%) are highest in experiential bars, making the experiential bar space a crucial channel for suppliers looking to capitalise in these categories, as well as understanding how to meet the needs of these consumers.

So then, what of the wide variety of experiential bar types that are seeing engagement?

According to CGA by NIQ, karaoke bars and comedy clubs are most popular, with 43% and 40% of consumers respectively saying they’re likely to visit in the next 12 months.

And while almost three in five channel visitors say they usually know what category they’ll drink before they’ve arrived at a venue, nearly seven in 10 of these say they could change their drink decision when they’re ordering in an experiential bar.

This reflects enticing potential to influence visitors with on-site promotions and marketing collateral, bartender incentives, and prominence on menus, ensuring the holidays are merry and bright.

Matthew Crompton, Regional Director – Americas says consumers are increasingly looking for fun activities and experiences in the on-premise, which is reflected in the continued prevalence of experiential venues.

“At Christmas, there’s a double whammy of partygoers having nights out with colleagues, plus people getting together with friends and family both before and after the big day,” he says.

“It’s an unmissable opportunity for brands to explore more deeply what elements create the ideal experience for consumers in the channel, and potential for targeted promotions, such as the range of options available, and serve preferences.”

How to catch up with The Shout NZ

Online, updated daily with its own unique content and breaking news.
Our weekly newsletter – free to your inbox! Subscribe here.
We are also on Facebook and Instagram!