Everything you need to know about sessionable drinks

Oct 10, 2018 in Alcohol Beverage

Liquor and beer brands are continually on the hunt for new product lines that offer a unique spin on long-established alcoholic beverages. New England-style IPAs, for instance, have been one of the biggest success stories in the craft beer market this year, providing fruitier and less abrasive alternatives to traditional IPAs.

In the cocktail world, the fresh-faced upstart taking the industry by storm is the “sessionable,” a spin on classic cocktails featuring much lower alcohol content. Liquor brands that want to create some buzz should consider jumping on this latest trend.

Sessionable drinks grow in popularity

The concept of “sessionable” alcoholic beverages is nothing new, but they have typically been associated with the craft beer industry, where session ales have long been marketed to beer drinkers who want to enjoy high-quality quaffs without getting inebriated.

Sessionable beverages take that basic idea and apply it to traditional cocktails like Pimm’s cups and highballs. Spritzers are also popular varieties on these low-ABV drinks. These cocktails appeal to consumers who want all the great taste and nuanced notes of a well-crafted beverage without the high alcohol content that often comes with mixed drinks.

For liquor companies – not to mention restaurants and bars – the upside to sessionable cocktails is that they can reduce costs by using low-ABV liquors while serving a specific customer segment on the hunt for less alcoholic beverages.

Many businesses have been successful by providing customers with sessionable cocktail options. As SevenFiftyDaily noted, Denver-area restaurant Acorn attributed 15 percent of its monthly liquor sales to sessionable drinks.

Capitalizing on the sessionable cocktail craze

Liquor companies can take advantage of this new market trend by making low-ABV liqueurs a priority in both restaurant and consumer markets. To gain traction in retail outlets, brands should study their demographic and shopping data to determine where their sessionable cocktail drinkers reside and focus their efforts on attracting that particular customer segment.

The next step is to get low-ABV drinks front and center on retail shelves so consumers are able to find them with ease. Working with grocery and liquor store chains to sell such liqueurs is important, of course, but it’s also crucial that frontline employees follow up to check that store managers are making good on their promise to put low-ABV products on their shelves.

Field teams should constantly review in-store displays and liqueur shelves to verify that specific SKUs are given the amount of shelf space and the number of facings that have been agreed upon between liquor company and retail outlets.

Brands can streamline these processes by equipping their frontline employees with mobile execution management solutions that offer a one-stop shop for all field reporting responsibilities. Whether they need to document merchandising compliance violations with image-capturing capabilities or gather valuable shopping and in-store traffic data, a comprehensive execution management application provides every tool for the job.