Thanksgiving Eve is one of the busiest nights for bars and restaurants, and Technomic foresees big sales for some fast-growing beer, wine, and spirits brands.

“This isn’t a trumped-up holiday—without any prompting from marketers, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving has evolved organically into a huge on-premise night,” says Donna Hood Crecca, senior director at Technomic.

“Many people travel to their hometowns for Thanksgiving and want to catch up with family and friends,” Crecca adds. “Most don’t want to entertain the night before a holiday, so meeting at a restaurant or bar is the way to go. Also, most people don’t work on Thanksgiving, making a night out an even more attractive option.”

With consumers in a convivial and celebratory mood, bar and restaurant operators can likely expect a bump in adult beverage sales, particularly for the hottest brands. Technomic’s recently released BarTAB Report identified the fastest-growing on-premise brands. Among hard cider makers, Angry Orchard (200 percent increase) and Crispin (50 percent) are the fastest growing. Stella Artois (13 percent) and Dos Equis (11 percent) are the fastest-growing beer brands, while Fireball Cinnamon Whisky (68 percent) and Tito’s Handmade Vodka (25 percent) represent the top two growing spirits. Barefoot (5 percent) and Woodbridge (4 percent) take Nos. 1 and 2 in the wine category.

“Most of these brands are growing because they’re differentiated with on-trend flavors or a compelling back story or price point, and they’ve connected with Millennials,” Crecca says. “Black Wednesday should bring plenty of calls for these brands from loyal fans and also from consumers open to trying something new.”

Crecca expects creative drinks highlighting these and other popular brands, such as innovative beer and wine cocktails, unique shooters and trending wine varietals by the glass, will likely be moving across many a bar on Black Wednesday.

The 2014 BarTAB Report is part of Technomic’s Trends in Adult Beverage series and provides an in-depth look at national on-premise volume and sales information on beer, wine, and spirits categories in restaurants and bars, including leading brands, as well as actionable outlooks and projections information, consumer insights around drink purchases on-premise, and operator insights.

Beverage, Consumer Trends, News