New data shows how Whiskey is being consumed at high-volume venues
The latest research from Union’s OnPrem Insights confirms that Whiskey, in all its forms, is a powerhouse spirit for high-volume bars and restaurants. We took a closer look at on-premise Whiskey orders to dive into customer behavior within this category, from the preferred types of Whiskey to what gets reordered the most.
“We already know that Whiskey is a huge aspect of cocktail bar culture, but with Union’s granular on premise ordering data we can confirm that the spirit thrives even in larger bar and restaurant settings,” said Layne Cox, Union’s Chief Marketing Officer. “By looking at actual guest purchases within Union’s network, we can see exactly what, and how, customers order Whiskey.”
Here are the five top insights that will help operators and brands fully leverage Whiskey’s popularity, based on real on-premise consumption data from thousands of Union venues across the United States.
Once a Whiskey Drinker, Often a Whiskey Drinker
The Whiskey drinkers have spoken. At Union venues, they are dedicated to their category, and repeat orderers are common. For guests that purchased Whiskey at least once within a five-visit period, 84 percent returned to it, and 37 percent of those went on to order Whiskey on at least half of their subsequent visits. Union buckets consumers into three segments based on their adoption rate: “trial” drinkers, “repertoire” drinkers, and “go-to” drinkers.
The Whiskey category has an overall retention of 53 percent, in line with Vodka and well ahead of other spirits categories — meaning a guest is likely to consume Whiskey again on their next bar visit. So it comes as no surprise that Old Fashioneds were the No. 2 cocktail on Union’s list in 2022, with steady sales throughout the year.
If a Whiskey drinker strays, Vodka is the next most likely spirit category for them to drink (22 percent) followed by Tequila (15 percent).