Thanksgiving ‘biggest opportunity’ for wine in US on-trade Nielsen shows

The Thanksgiving holiday provides the US on-trade with the biggest opportunity to sell wine, the latest data from Nielsen has revealed.

According to the Nielsen CGA Channel Strategy Report 2019 and Nielsen CGA On-Premise User Survey (OPUS) 2019, wine sales outperforms spirits, beer, cocktails and soft drinks during the week of Thanksgiving, with 39% of US consumers choosing to drink wine when out-of-home during the November holiday.

This represented a significant opportunity for both wine-led bars and fine and casual dining establishments where wine and food pairings are key, it said.

Around 45% of consumers who choose fine diners during the period choose wine, with just under half making a specific chose to complement their food, ahead of those visiting ‘polished casual dining’ restaurants, where this was a consideration for only 0% of customers.

Fine dining also represented the biggest opportunity to upsell, Nielsen found, with around 70% of customers being prepared to trade up to a more expensive option.

In more upscale casual premises, around 80% of consumers said brand was a significant factor in choosing a drink, and 63% of ‘polished casual dining’ customers chose the restaurant based on its wine menu.

Meanwhile independence on-premises were likely to benefit most from specific Happy Hour specials, as 72% of consumers to those establishments visited between 5pm and 8pm.

Nielsen CGA’s client solutions Director Matthew Crompton said Thanksgiving and the days surrounding it represented a great opportunity for suppliers and retailers in the On Premise, particularly in suburban and rural neighbourhoods.

“This time of year is often bigger for suburban and rural neighbourhoods as opposed to urban ones, as many people retreat to their family homes for the holiday. And although the traditional Thanksgiving meal is often a home-based affair, the rest of the week represents a great opportunity for dining-led outlets to drive footfall,” he said. “Our latest OPUS data reinforces that wine should not be forgotten during the occasion.”

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