Schlepping samples, connecting with accounts and managing sales goals—being a liquor rep can feel like you’re juggling a million balls at once. And during slower months, it can be hard just keeping those balls movin’. While the big holiday boom may be behind us, there’s still one more noteworthy occasion in our immediate future: St. Patrick’s Day.
From pub crawls to parades, there’s nothin’ quite like St. Paddy’s Day. And not surprisingly, it’s one of the highest grossing days of the year for US bars and restaurants. According to a Nielsen CGA analysis, average beer sales grew 174% and spirits sales rose 153% in 2018 when compared to non-holidays.
To get to our point, St. Patrick’s day is looming in the near future and we’ve got some insights that you may find useful while getting your accounts ready for the big holiday. By digging deep into our data from 2019, we were able to identify peak St. Paddy’s day ordering times, top ordered products and much, much more.
So what’re you waitin’ for? Pull up a chair, pop a squat and learn how you can exceed your March sales goals. Starting now.
St. Patrick's Day Order Behavior
To give you a leg up on St. Pat’s day this year, we dove into our data to figure out when users were placing their orders on Provi. Turns out, in 2019, the majority of bartenders and beverage buyers were ordering significantly more the second week of March. And, when taking a look at sales during the 10th through the 15th, we found a 22.9% uptick in orders when compared to the week prior.
But wait. There’s more.
We also found that on Monday, March 11th between the hours of noon and 3PM, the most orders were placed. So what does that mean for you? Plan ahead. Come Monday, March 9th of this year, your phone will be buzzing with big orders and eager customers.
Beer & Spirits Performance
It’s no secret that beer and spirits are typically associated with St. Patrick’s day. Afterall, it’s the one major holiday where Guinness, green beer and Irish whiskey reign supreme.
When comparing sales to the week prior to St. Patrick’s day, we found that more bars and restaurants were stockin’ up on spirits than they were beer. However, during the week of St. Patrick’s day, market share of beer sales increased by 9.83%, versus spirits which increased .91% when compared to the week prior.
So, what does this mean for you? Your accounts may be more interested in ordering beer products before the big holiday. But take into account that they may not have enough space for the increase in inventory. Call ahead to talk about how and when they'd like to receive their orders.
Spirit Category Performance
For the bars and restaurants that were ordering spirits, we saw an uptick in whiskey, rum and vodka sales during the week of St. Paddy’s day, when compared to the week prior.
And not surprisingly, the top contender within the spirit category was whiskey. In fact, whiskey saw a 14.5% increase in market share during the week of St. Patrick’s day.
But that’s not all that bars and restaurants were stockin’ up on. Rum also increased in share during the week of St. Patrick’s day, seeing a 3.15% lift when compared to the week prior.
You can’t make a vodka Red Bull without the vodka. Which might be why we saw a 2.3% increase in vodka sales during the week of the big holiday. Other spirit categories like tequila, gin and brandy didn’t fair as well, each seeing a slight decline in share.
So what does this mean for you? Well, when it comes to spirits, bars and restaurants are most likely looking to order whiskey, vodka and rum, come the week of March 9th this year.
Now you know what spirit categories were big last year. Let’s find out what exactly bartenders and beverage buyers were stockin’ up on.
We found that the top five ordered St. Paddy’s spirits were either whiskey or vodka. So, what took the number one spot? Jameson Irish Whiskey, of course! The triple-distilled spirit accounted for 10.68% of spirit market share during the week of St. Pat’s, with Tito’s vodka coming in second at 8.41%. Other notable spirits included Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7, Grey Goose and Ketel One vodka.
Our take? People are drinking a lot of what they like, and not necessarily what the holiday calls for. Keep that in mind while you get your accounts ready this year.
Beer Style Performance
When we think of St. Patrick’s day, stouts immediately come to mind. But when looking back at our data from 2019, we see that stouts didn’t even make it on our list of top five most popular styles.
When it came to beer, Provi users seemed to gravitate towards select styles. The number one style ordered for St. Paddy’s day? Light beer. Bars and restaurants were wowing their green-clad guests with all things light. The style clocked in with 44.92% market share during the week of St. Patrick’s day—the highest of any other beer style. Coming in second place is Pale Lager, which saw 20.98% share during the holiday week. Other notable styles include IPA’s (12.06% market share) and American Pale Ales (8.12%).
Our take? While it didn't make it to the top five last St. Patrick's day, we think hard seltzers will get BIG volume this year.
Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty. Last year during the week of St. Pat’s, there was one clear winner within the beer segment: Miller Lite. The popular American beer accounted for 12.46% of market share, followed closely behind by Bud Light at 11.74%.
This list wouldn’t be complete without Guinness. The popular Irish stout came in third place, holding 6.64% of share. Other notable products included Coors Light and Stella Artois.
So what does this mean for you? While St. Patrick’s day may have irish origins, most bars and restaurants are likely to choose American-made brews this year.
User Behavior on Provi
So, what were bars and restaurants searching for, the week of St. Patrick’s day last year? 1.45% of Provi users were searching for “Bud”—most likely trying to stock up on that cool, St. Patrick’s Day aluminum bottle.
“Miller” came in second place, with .85% of Provi users looking to stock up on the sessionable light pilsner. Other notable searches include Red Bull and Jameson, with .81% and .7% of users looking stock up for the never ending amount of vodka-red bulls and irish car bombs soon to be ingested.
Users Also Purchased
By now you’ve learned about the specific days and times bars and restaurants are likely to order. You’ve learned what they were searching for. You even learned about the top ordered beer and spirit products. Now we’re going to shift gears to something else.
Last year, the top-ordered whiskey was Jameson and the top ordered beer was Miller Lite, right? But do you wonder what the majority of bars and restaurants purchased, in addition to those two products?
Because we did.
So we found out.
Of the bars and restaurants that ordered Jameson, 42.3% of them purchased Miller Lite and 40.6% of them purchased Guinness at the same time.
Of the bars and restaurants that ordered Miller Lite, 60% of them purchased Coors Light and 56.2% of them purchased Bud Light at the same time.
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