According to GuestMetrics, Cinco de Mayo experienced weaker spirits and cocktails on-premise sales this year compared to 2012 largely driven by the fact the holiday had shifted from a Saturday last year to a Sunday this year.
“In comparing the actual Cinco de Mayo holiday from 2013 against the prior year, spirits and cocktails sales contracted 52 percent, though that is largely a reflection of the holiday falling on a Sunday this year versus being on a Saturday in 2012,” says Bill Pecoriello, CEO of GuestMetrics. “However, even when we compare spirits and cocktails sales for the entire week of Cinco de Mayo in 2013 against the entire Cinco de Mayo week in 2012 to normalize for the shift, sales of spirits and cocktails for the week were still down about 6 percent versus the prior year. That is because the greatest lift in sales happens when the holiday falls on a Saturday and there is less consumption when the holiday falls on a Sunday. In 2012, the entire Cinco de Mayo week was up 6 percent over 2011 when the holiday fell on a Thursday.”
“While our data indicates Tequila accounted for 8 percent of total spirits sales during the 2011–2013 period, that number jumps by more than a factor of two to about 18 percent when looking specifically at Cinco de Mayo, so the holiday is clearly a Tequila-centric occasion,” says Peter Reidhead, vice president of strategy and insights at GuestMetrics. “However, when looking at the 7-day period encompassing the holiday to account for timing shifts, Tequila is not immune from the gains that Bourbons & Blends have been achieving recently in on-premise. Bourbons & Blends gained about 3 points of share, coming at the expense of both Tequila and Vodka.”
Margaritas accounted for about 27 percent of total cocktail sales during the 2011–2013 period, but that number spikes to around 45 percent on Cinco de Mayo, explains Brian Barrett, president of GuestMetrics, who notes, “In terms of cocktails, the holiday is also a very Margarita-centric occasion.”
“However, similar to what we saw in the spirits categories, Margaritas lost about 3 points of share of cocktail sales during the Cinco de Mayo week,” Barrett says. “Over the past few years, the popularity of several thousand less-prevalent cocktails has grown significantly during the Cinco de Mayo week, which is the type of thing that is important for restaurant and bar operators to take into consideration as they customize their menus for holiday-specific occasions like Cinco de Mayo.”