April 03, 2017
The survey suggests that “27% of surveyed beer drinkers have or will substitute beer for marijuana when and if it becomes legal in their state."
Anecdotally wine and spirits sales are also expected to take a hit.
What’s surprising is the ease that regular long term drinkers have/will jump from beer and possibly alcohol completely.
For years industry pundits have told us that it’s the flavour and taste of beer and spirits that motivates consumers.
The argument then segues into attributes of both “the experience” and “the occasion” that creates the environment for drinkers to relax and party.
The question that follows: what drives brand or category loyalty, when consumers can readily switch and ditch?
Can the argument be synthesised into something simpler: for consumers is it about the buzz, meaning the cost of a joint and its effects may be cheaper and quicker (with no calorie considerations) than an equivalent volume of booze?
If in the short terms sales do drop by 20-30%, there’ll be some horrific fall out, however what this will look like longer term no one knows.
Will folks drift back to beer and spirits?
Brands, retailers and bars are in for interesting times, perhaps now’s a good time for conjurers and marketers to huddle and strategise, to create new stories to help hold the existing market together.
Image courtesy of www.freepik.com
July 12, 2016
Let’s think of the bartender as a craftsman. That essential style of the cocktail can only be imparted by the right tools. In the same way a carpenter brings his own tools to the job so he can complete his craft with finesse, so too do the best barmen and bar women.
Bar tools add to the performance of cocktail creation, the better the function and aesthetics conceivably the better the expected results.
So, what does this suggest today when we look back through history to discover that the bar tools we see today in our bars (and homes) today, are not far removed from those used during Prohibition.
Most designs trace their roots back to the 19th century – great examples are the Julep strainer, wooden muddler (evolving from a toddy stick),a Boston shaker, a Hawthorne strainer and the Cobbler shaker..
Whilst some other tools were tried (an aluminium shaker – but drinks tasted of metal, or cast iron juicer – bit cumbersome but good for shutting up a pesky client!) the basis of what we see today is not far removed from products developed almost 100 years ago.
By the time we reached Prohibition the tools and production of classic (modern) cocktails was becoming established, yet as production, materials and machinery improved, it seems that generic bar products are being produced and sold for price for less and less money.
So wouldn’t we imagine the consequence of this that something must give; namely quality, function and performance?
The old adage that a tradesman is only as good as the tools that they use still stands true today.
May 17, 2015
There’s a quiet revolution, it’s a silent tsunami of talent gathering force and if not careful will sweep the arrogant and complacent away!
What we’re referring to is the explosion of knowledgeable bartenders from all parts of South East Asia (SEA), now seeking greater experience and new homes in the developed cocktail markets of the world.
Photo credit: Antonio Lai - Quinary Hong Kong
Significant investment by liquor companies over the last 5-8 years in training, outreach, competition and ambassadors has transformed the marketplace to equip a new breed of passionate SEA bartenders with knowledge and skills... what they now seek is wider experience, maybe at your expense!
Sadly many SEA countries are poor… bartending, mixology and cocktail culture has been for many a way out of poverty and hardship as individuals leap frog futures with no horizons, to land on professions with endless opportunity!
Successful SEA bartenders build and support their families and local communities... funding education, housing and other worthy endeavours, with their success brings hope, safety and smiles to those at home!
Unencumbered by arrogance, a poor work ethic, lack of respect, this cohort appreciates everything. It may very well be that Asian culture is better suited to providing superior hospitality experiences to help, serve and transform thirsty and hungry guests sitting patiently throughout the developed world!
Powered by emotional and economic drivers that many western bartenders fail to understand… the new breed are eager for success; ready for the challenges and rewards that hospitality brings!
The future impact on bartenders in other countries is yet to be felt! But let's be very clear, complacency will be rocked as the competition gets decidedly harder, more willing and infinitely more flexible!
Locals not at the top of their game may one day be felled by the Great Grandchildren of Prohibition; beware the crouching tigers ready to pounce!
February 18, 2015
There’s been much debate amongst bartenders concerning the pros and cons of speed behind the bar.
Speak to any bartender working a club, Vegas Strip, high volume bar and they’ll quickly tell you speed‘s king!
If you’re working just for tips, as many do in the US, speedy drinks equals fast tips!
With many bartenders regarding themselves as guns... delays in making a drink is costly so, it’s all guns blazing or go hungry!
Like most traditions behind a bar, they didn’t happen overnight... they evolved over time.
On that basis, it’s possible that Prohibition era American Speak Easy bars are the likely modern starting point of the need for speed behind the bar!
The rationale: Speak Easy owners/bartenders never knew when they could be raided by authorities… seems logical then, if you wanted to sell plenty of drinks, make money, that a heighted sense of urgency was required... speed was critical!
During Prohibition drink quality and craftsmanship were not deemed particularly important, so speed was the catalyst to drinking quick and serving fast!
Whilst at Uber we don’t agree that fast drinks will necessarily be good in terms of quality, flavour and balance, we realize there’s plenty of room to cater for all styles and sorts of bartending/customer needs.
Customers waiting to be served is money potentially left on the table; drinks poorly executed represent money leaving a venue as a guest potentially swaps to a cheaper drink category or leaves disappointed altogether!
Speed behind the bar has consequences... it comes down to juggling between speed, care and quality… pick any 2!
October 15, 2014
It’s sometimes hard to imagine how far the spirits industry has grown, innovated and re-imagined itself from the dark days of Prohibition.
Nohibition®... The Spirited Renaissance - is defined as the polar opposite to the dark ages of Prohibition. The new beginning, or great awakening commenced in the early 21st century… with a handful of bartenders asking why not... going back to study history to re-imagine a future with no boundaries, endless possibilities and the opportunity to bring drinking enlightenment to the masses.
Whilst new Prohibitionists agitate throughout the world, threatening new legislation, new taxes, advertising restrictions... the industry has banded, educated and self-regulated to stave the threats.
To see how Nohibition® - The Spirited Renaissance has transformed the terroir TODAY we must ask the question(s): What new brands, categories, technology, innovations we take for granted TODAY that were not in existence 5-10 years ago?
Then stand back and be struck as we see how far we’ve come… it’s far more than awesome... it’s mind numbing!
When the world moves as fast as the power of thought, you’ll be amazed by who’s on the list!
Here’s a few examples:
Berlin Bar Convent is a perfect example of the aforementioned Innovation... walk the endless halls at the show and you’ll soon see that over 50% of companies and brands on display... were NOT in existence 10 years before!
Our point: The Spirited Renaissance is bigger than just a brand or even the industry itself… the real power is understanding that the tidal wave of ideas, representing the hopes and dreams of so many passionate individuals and corporations becomes the sustaining force to outpace government legislative walls, keep up with consumer trends; providing assurance and opportunity for enterprising entrepreneurs, re-imaging tomorrow!
Hang on for the ride!
September 10, 2014
Provenance is the event horizon authenticating a product’s journey from start to finish.
History, heritage, pedigree; serve as the assurance to guarantee consumers favourable experiences.
With consumers increasingly becoming more curious about health impacts of food and drink, will more attention flow towards greater product transparency...?
The WHERE (it’s from) will become less important than the WHAT (it’s made of!)
Grab any soft drink can, beer bottle and most packaged food, flip it around to discover a long list of chemical ingredients. Everything is there to be seen from how much sugar, fat, preservatives etc. etc. is used.
The broader thought: informed consumers make better decisions!
If you’ve got an allergy, a health issue.... diabetes, heart disease, weight or cholesterol issues: read a product’s “discovery label” to decide whether that product may have harmful impacts!
Taking this thought one step further: will activist consumers make demands on regulators to enforce stringent labelling transparency on more product categories?In the not too distant future, could pressure be forced on the Wine industry to declare contents and chemical composition of Wine? What would the spill-over effects be on the Spirit industry?
Under these circumstances can the most pure Spirit brands still advertise as being the most pure, the most natural if a chemical analysis is forced onto its outer packaging.
Could new Prohibitionists (the anti-liquor lobby) force greater alcohol restrictions and higher taxes in the pursuit of their self-righteousness?
Here’s a thought: governments (in a democracy) require Legislation to restrict or prohibit things, however it’s the public service at the behest of Government who can proscribe regulations (declaring something to be or not to be) bypassing the legislative process and public scrutiny!
When the day comes for the Wine and Spirits industry to become label transparent, marketing fundamentals relied upon for hundreds of years will also change from amazing storytelling, mystique, provenance and pedigree to that of plain old cardboard facts?