Nightclub & Bar Show Maximizes Beverage Potential

Beverage is the oil that keeps the hospitality industry running,” according to organizers of the Nightclub & Bar/Beverage Retailer/Beverage & Food Convention and Trade Show, to be held in Las Vegas, March 5-8. This year’s show promises the most comprehensive event for operators in its 21-year history, with programming designed to enable operators of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, casinos and off-premise retail establishments to realize the potential of their beverage programs.
The show will feature more than 2,000 booths showcasing products and services, and nearly 80 educational sessions to address every facet of operation. “The educational offerings and products at the show are critical for any operator interested in growing business,” says Jennifer Robinson, chief operating officer at Oxford Publishing Inc., which has organized the show. “This event is the most concentrated and comprehensive learning opportunity in the industry.”
The Pre-Conference Workshops, held March 5, offer an early opportunity for learning at nine sessions such as the Cocktail Experience, which focuses on signature drink development and menu design, sales and service, and managing beverage programs and training innovations. The Hotel Restaurant & Gaming Executive Conference includes a session on The Future of Beverage Programs. Overhauling Your Beverage Program features industry veteran Robert Plotkin, who will discuss improvements in beverage programs, spirits trends, backbar management, “point-of-thirst” marketing, improving drink consistency and lowering labor costs.
The educational opportunities continue during the show, with The Cocktail College panel, which will include bar professionals who will discuss how to develop and manage a top-shelf cocktail program and attract new guests. Spike Up Your Beverage Sales finds David Commer of Commer Beverage Consulting revealing time-tested strategies for increasing sales. Scott Young of will offer Go the Limit: Extreme Service With Style. Attendees will learn how to increase revenues with upselling in the Liquid Gold seminar, and the Bank Draught session will educate operators on how to get the most out of draught beer programs. Beverage promotions that increase sales are the subject of Solid Sales & Liquid Assets, hosted by Patrick Henry of Patrick Henry Creative Promotions.
The new Off-Premise Track includes, among its varied operational topics, Come Pour the Profits, and Days of Wine and Revenues which will delve into how to increase wine sales. More Bang for the Distributor Buck helps operators get the most from their distributors.
Keynote speakers at the show include Eduardo M. Sardina, president and chief executive officer of Bacardi North America; Steele Platt, owner/founder of Yard House Restaurants; Norman Adami, chief executive officer of Miller Brewing Co.; Dennis Overstreet, owner of The Wine Merchant, one of the most successful retail operations in Beverly Hills; Brian Yost, vice president of food and beverage with Harrah’s Las Vegas; and Mike Milner, executive director of nightclub entertainment at MGM Grand.
The show will open with the Market Maker Awards at Caesar’s Palace, during which beverage brands will be recognized for their contributions as leaders in on-premise sales. Nightly networking events at exciting venues, hosted by key beverage suppliers, also are on tap.
For more information, visit

Hispanics consume $92 billion in U.S. supermarkets, and consumption is expected to increase with the availability of Latin products. “We are always looking for new products,” says Emery Smith, vice president of international sales for Sysco. “We have a lot of consumers with Latin roots and they are the ones that create a huge demand.”
In 2002, approximately 40 million people of Latin descent lived in the United States, and their buying power exceeded $581 billion. It is estimated that by 2009, one out of every nine Americans will be of Hispanic roots.
This group, although well adapted to the eating habits of the American environment, has not abandoned deeply rooted family traditions. They retain a diet that reminds them of their ancestors and homelands; not to mention that they are adding exotic flavor to the American diet.
Loyal to brands and traditions
This means that Hispanics have a craving for their foods — whether an Inca Kola from Peru, pão de queijo from Brazil, meat or wine from Argentina, salmon from Chile, arepas from Venezuela or Pony Malta from Colombia.
“The more than 40 million Hispanics that currently live in the USA spend about $686 billion per year,” notes Óscar Domínguez, president of Fispal Latino. “An impressive 13 percent of this amount — or $92 billion — is spent in supermarkets.”
But according to experts, this figure can increase with the availability of Latin products on supermarket and retailers’ shelves. Due to the largely untapped market, Latinos find themselves either choosing alternate American products to satisfy their needs or driving a distance to reach mom-n-pop shops that understand the business value of carrying Hispanics’ native products.
In fact, according to the Cultural Access Group, Hispanics spend $30 more per shopper on groceries than the average American. This target group also makes more shopping trips per week, with an average of 4.7 visits vs. 2.2 for other ethnic groups.
The demand for Latin products in the United States, in great part, has yet to be satisfied. Large corporations are no longer the only importers; small and medium-sized buyers also need to stock their shelves with Latin flavors.
Domínguez highlights the fact that many retailers trying to capture this market have added Hispanic product specialists and buyers within their structures.
Americans also have been enjoying the pleasures of drinking a passion fruit juice, savoring a dulce de leche ice cream, and as another sign of the demand for Latin flavors, chefs at Disney World have been desperately seeking the Peruvian fruit lucuma to prepare some of their dishes. Just another testament to the future of this niche.
Exclusive meeting point for buyers and sellers
Although retailers know about these facts, many question how to go from the concept to reality. How can these retailers reach south of the border to capitalize on the demand?
Fispal, the International Private Agency for the Food Market Development, has created the first event exclusively dedicated to trade integration of the Americas whose focus is the food sector. The second edition of the event is slated for May 10-12, 2006 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Fla.
According to Roberto Weill of Latin Foods Networks, “This is the commercial platform that was missing between the North and South Poles. Fispal Latino is the fair that bridges the Americas.”
In 2004, 48 percent of participants at Fispal Latino focused on foodservice products, while 26 percent focused on beverages, 19 percent on candy and chocolates, and 16 percent in frozen or refrigerated foods. Products highlighted with much success were fruits and vegetables, fish, beverage, meat and sausage, dairy, desserts, sweets and snacks, foodservice, ingredients, diet products, children’s products, supplements, frozen and refrigerated products, breads and pastas, equipment and technology, packaging, service sector companies, and restaurant franchising.
Trusted consultants
Fispal has achieved the trust of countless companies all over the world, as one of the main opinion leaders and integrators operating in the food market. Its projects introduced a contemporary vision of how to promote products and services in a simple and effective way in the interest of competition and individuality.
Fispal’s new identity, showcasing its current visionary positioning, is being introduced to highlight its performance in the market as the International Private Agency for the Food Market Development. This represents an evolution of the fair’s concept, which consists of offering solutions to leverage businesses through innovative services in the target areas of fairs and forums, printed publications and digital media. The organization is based on the value of five fundamental elements: ethics, knowledge, relationship networking, technology, and services — values that helped Fispal become one of the most internationally respected Brazilian companies over the years.
For more information on Fispal Latino or its events, please visit or contact Óscar Domínguez at 305/448-2400 or by email at