Nielsen CGA, a joint venture between New York-based Nielsen and CGA Strategy, United Kingdom, released insights from its first “On-Premise Consumer Survey” for the U.S. market.

The Nielsen CGA “On-Premise Consumer Survey” will be a biannual survey of 15,000 on-premise consumers, all of legal drinking age, aimed to provide a comprehensive look into America's eating and drinking habits in restaurants and at bars, the company says. This U.S. market survey, which is nationally representative of age, gender and location (state), uncovers consumer sentiment data that speaks to all aspects of on-premise usage.

Designed to gain in-depth insight into drinking trends, tastes, occasions, chain usage and drink brand preferences, it reveals the cross-over between a retailer's customers and a beverage-alcohol (BevAl) brand's consumers, top outlets visited, occasions that drive visits (e.g., after work drink, celebration), and overall preferred drink categories and brands, it adds.

"To win in this complex on-premise market, manufacturers, distributors and retailers need to gain a total consumer view and go beyond simply what is being consumed," said Scott Elliott, senior vice president of Nielsen CGA, in a statement. "Essentially this means gaining insight into who is buying what, where, why and crucially — what they do when they are not engaging with your brand.

“Together with TD Linx and our best-in-class measurement and analytic services, this sentiment data completes the Nielsen CGA circle of on-premise insight capabilities,” he added. “This unique 360-degree approach, combined with our world-leading, on-premise consultancy credentials, means Nielsen CGA customers can start to forge new, differentiated approaches to winning in the on-premise space."

The Nielsen CGA On-Premise Consumer Survey is available now for Nielsen clients.

The following are some key findings from the survey:

  • Twenty-three percent of the U.S. population drank a cocktail outside of their home in the past three months;
  • Tequila (44 percent) is the favorite liquor base for cocktails in the United States, followed by light rum (39 percent), flavored vodka (39 percent), non-flavored vodka (39 percent) and whiskey (27 percent);
  • Margarita (60 percent) is the most popular cocktail in the United States, followed by daiquiri (44 percent), piña colada (36 percent), Long Island iced tea (33 percent) and mojito (29 percent);
  • Forty-eight percent of consumers feel that cocktail menus with named liquor brands are very important or important when choosing a cocktail.

The following are findings related to retail chains:

  • Chili’s consumers are 7 percent more likely to try a Margarita (67 percent) than the country’s average (60 percent);
  • Buffalo Wild Wings consumers are 7 percent more likely to try a tequila sunrise (34 percent) than the U.S. average (27 percent);
  • Bonefish Grill consumers are 13 percent more likely to try a martini (39 percent) than the U.S. average (26 percent);
  • TGI Fridays consumers are 8 percent more likely to try a mojito (41 percent) than the U.S. average (33 percent).

The survey also found that the standard price for a cocktail on-premise is $8.72, and consumers are willing to spend 25 percent more for a cocktail made with premium spirits. Additionally, the average they’re willing to spend is $10.98.It also found that when it comes to brunch, six in 10 consumers are likely to drink alcohol, and 24 percent of those who eat out at brunch will drink a cocktail. It notes that 45 percent of brunch-goers often order a mimosa, 36 percent a Bloody Mary and 27 percent a Champagne cocktail.

The Nielsen CGA on-premise consumer survey was conducted online, in English, within the United States between March 20 and April 7. It included 15,000 adults (aged 21 and older) who have visited an on-premise establishment at least once in the past three months during the time of the survey, the company says.