US alcohol sales growing faster in hotels than wider on-trade

Sales of booze in hotels in the US is growing faster than in the wider US on-trade, a new report by Nielsen has found, with consumers more likely to drink alcohol when out of their regular environment.

(Photo: Milkos/iStock)

The new Nielsen CGA Hotel Report, which measures consumer drinking habits in around 5,000 hotels in the US, showed that although 46% of American adults would drink beer during a regular drinking occasion this figures rose to 52% when they were at a hotel, with wine also showing a marginal uplift of 35%, compared to 34%. Cocktails were also more likely to be consumed at a hotel, rising to 32%, compared to 28% at regular drinking occasions, boosted by the popularity of Happy hour.

The report says the hotel sector is growing faster than bars and other on-trade accounts, with around 21,000 outlets across the US.

“With the willingness of today’s consumers to drink wherever, whenever, hotels continue to be a hotbed for growth within the beverage alcohol industry,” the report said.

More than two thirds of people (67%) visiting a hotel bar are made by people on business, the report confirmed, consuming an average number of three drinks during each bar visit. The tipple of choice for these consumers was wine, it found, accounting for around 28% of drinks, ahead of cocktails and craft beer, at 25%

Happy Hour is also a key occasion, with more than half  (56%) of consumers saying they would visit the bar during n Happy Hour in a hotel, compared to only 36% in other on-premise locations.

Matt Crompton, client solutions director at Nielsen CGA said the inaugural Nielsen CGA Hotel Report not only reflected the wide array of locations where consumers drink, but also the different habits enjoyed by consumers when they’re outside their usual routine.

Hotels are no longer just stopover spots,” he said. “They have the opportunity to increasingly become a destination for drinking occasions. The Nielsen CGA Hotel Report will empower our alcohol clients across the spectrum hone their offerings for the traveler, and provide hotels with the fuel they need to enhance consumer loyalty,” he said.

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