Top Adult Beverage Trends in Hotels

The hotel F&B segment has been one of the fastest growing areas within the on-premise channel, and beverage is becoming a differentiator for operators looking to drive sales across a number of service areas.

Hotel Beverage Program Trends

Using a variety of qualitative and quantitative metrics, David Henkes of Technomic, Inc. identified consumer and operator trends impacting beverage alcohol consumption. He shared consumer and trade insights on “what’s hot,” how behavior is shifting within this segment, as well as thoughts and implications for generating incremental growth.

Top 8 Beverage Trends Impacting Hotels:

  1. The hotel business remains solid, especially when compared to other on-premise establishments. Hotels operators are confident about growth, particularly in their beverage programs and have been gaining back drinkers due to segment strength.
  2. Profitability continues to top concerns in beverage programs. Differentiating from other establishments’ beverage programs is becoming a challenge. However, despite said challenges, consumer satisfaction remains high.
  3. Product proliferation is adding complexity. Hotels find are finding that “keeping up” is a challenge.
  4. Growth categories in hotels have been wine, spirits and craft beer sales. Craft beer sales are outperforming any other type of beer and ciders are being added to one third of hotels. In the future, wine by the glass will increase and premium spirits will continue on trend.
  5. Top consumer consumption in hotels. Despite the growth in craft, domestic light beer still tops consumer consumption, mixed cocktails are most popular among spirit based drinks and red wine is still more popular than white. In addition, beer and spirit over-index with business travelers.
  6. Hotels are considered a great place to try new things. 31 percent of individuals are more likely to try a new alcohol based drink in a hotel compared to 26 percent in casual dining or bar venues. Ideally, hotels are looking to increase spirit sales.
  7. Menu orientation. Hotel beverage programs are heavily oriented towards wine. Out of the total menued items in hotels, 28 percent is red wine, 19 percent is white wine and 2 percent is other wines. Beer menus skew heavily toward craft making up 41 percent and spirit menus lean heavily on whiskey and bourbon at 21 percent.
  8. Hotels are building experiences around beverages.  A luxury item now is a craft great beer served at the right temperature with a great food opportunity. This is in addition to the tradition wine program offerings that help differentiate a property. Hotels are also focusing on building cocktail program that offer an experience (for example: Royal Caribbean’s Explore the Ocean Cocktail Program discussed HERE).

Hotel beverage is an exciting, innovative space. Opportunities for collaboration between suppliers and hotel operators include beverage category optimization, new product activity and driving ability across the property.


For more information on the most relevant industry information and trends make sure to attend the 2015 VIBE Conference for exclusive research for the chain beverage executive, taking place on March 31 – April 1, 2015 in Las Vegas.