According to a GuestMetrics study, the on-premise channel was weak in the four weeks before August 8, with traffic down 2.7 percent vs. a 1.5 percent decrease in year to date. The numbers reflect a cautious approach from consumers on discretionary spending. Lower gas prices and shifts in consumer sentiment could drive the numbers upward headed into the final months of the year.

Beer trends improved from the prior month as the World Cup was lapped. Beer unit share improved and was down 0.5 percent vs. 0.8 percent year to date. Wine share decreased 0.1 percent (vs. flat year to date), and spirits share was up 0.6 percent vs. 0.8 percent year to date.

Total alcohol units sold fell 3.4 percent vs. a 2.8 percent drop year to date, a function of weak overall traffic.

Beer unit growth fell 4.6 percent vs. 4.8 percent year to date. Craft beer’s year-over-year share gains slowed from the 1.8 percent share point gain in 2014 and 1 percent in the last 12 weeks to 0.7 percent in the last four. Premium light’s year-over-year share loss moderated from a 1.9 percent drop to a 1.2 percent fall. Import’s moved from a 0.3 percent decrease to flat, and cider went from a 0.5 percent rise to 0.2 percent.

Spirits fell 1.9 percent, below the 0.9 percent year-to-year trend. Tequila, Irish, and brandy/cognac gained, while rum, cordials, and vodka fell.

Domestic craft spirits continues to take market share at a strong pace. Wine volumes were down 3.9 percent, while wine varietals Prosecco, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Red Blend, and Moscato had the largest year-over-year volume share gain, and Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Zinfadel were the largest share donors. 

GuestMetrics collects check-level data from the point-of-sales systems of over 10,000 restaurants and bars closely representative of the broad on-premise sector across geographies, and with respect to the make-up of casual dining, bars/clubs, fine dining, and lodging.

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