Adult beverage sales: Up and still rising

From Nation's Restaurant News

Sales of adult beverages in the U.S. increased in 2011 and will continue to rise, according to a study by restaurant research firm Technomic. 
Technomic's 2012 BarTAB (Trends in Adult Beverage) report showed that sales of beer, wine and spirits in restaurants increased 4.9 percent in 2011, reaching $93.7 billion and are trending up for 2012 and 2013. 
One reason for that sales growth and its predicted continuation may be pent-up demand left over from the recession, said Technomic senior director Donna Hood Crecca. “Now that we’re into the recovery and consumer confidence is improving, they’re giving in and going for that affordable indulgence,” she said. 
According to the report, one third of consumers say that alcoholic beverages at a restaurant influence their decision to go there, meaning that adult drinks are becoming a competitive differentiator. “Operators are also doing a great job promoting [drinks],” Crecca added.
 “They’re doing beer dinners and tequila dinners. That generates excitement among consumers.”
The study also found that when it comes to beverage sales, beer is, by far, the largest on-premise category, accounting for more than four-fifths of all beverages sold. Imported and craft beers are growing in popularity. Craft beer volumes increased 11 .4%  during 2011, while imported beers grew about 1%, Crecca said.
Go here for the rest of the story, which puts the craft vs. import beer situation in perspective.

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