“Bartenders have a very good pulse on their consumers and the most popular brands in the on premise environment today,” said Kevin Moran, president of MSS. “While one can expect to see the industry leaders dominate the top rankings, what is really interesting is watching the emergence of so many new brands. Fireball for example wasn’t even on the radar last year and now ranks sixth. Or the Moscow Mule gaining traction and becoming a more popular cocktail over the past two to three years.”
The "Popular Drinks Study" asked over 800 bartenders to rank the most popular brands as well as the most popular drinks, shots and cocktails. Additional information is provided to participating suppliers on rankings by account type, markets and demographics that enable them to make more informed strategic decisions on how optimize drinks strategy. The most often recommended brand results for 2013 include:
Overall Brand: Grey Goose leads as Bacardi falls five spots, just remaining in the top 10, while both Stoli and Smirnoff do not make the top 10 list for the first time.
Straight Shots: Patron maintains top mention for the fifth year in a row, followed by Jameson and Jägermeister.
Mixed Shots: The top five remain the same as in 2012, led by the Lemon Drops as Chocolate Cake replaces the Buttery Nipple in the top 10 rankings.
Cocktails: Margaritas and Long Island Iced Teas are rated as the top two most popular cocktails in 2013 followed by the Cosmo, as Manhattans and Old Fashions crack the top 10 list. Margarita has been ranked the most popular cocktail in seven of the eight years MSS has run the study
Mixed Drinks: Rum and Coke receives top mention as the most popular simple mixed drink, various combinations of whiskey and vodka mixed drinks round out the remaining top 10.
2014 Projections: Reflecting the growth of the cocktail culture, beer is again projected by bartenders to decline in popularity. In 2011 beer was ranked #2, in 2012 #6; in 2013, it falls to #9. Related, despite the significant volume beer represents in on premise accounts, bartenders convey that 72% of their mindshare goes to spirits.
The "2013 U.S. Popular Drinks Study" surveyed over 800 bartenders in the top ten U.S. MSAs between June and August. Results are based on unaided popularity measures by bartenders that are proprietary to MSS.