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Weekly Wrap-Up – 12/28/2012

Here at The Portable Bar Company, we spend a fair amount of time learning about drinks, bars, events, and catering. We think that it’s important for us to know what we’re talking about and who we’re talking to. We thought we’d start the tradition (and end the year) with some of our favorite posts on the state of the industry. A lot of good best of posts stuck their heads out this week for industries we like to our eye on. We’ve brought together a few that you may find interesting. On to the links!

– Jesse States

Consultant Baum + Whiteman put together a whitepaper on Restaurant and Hotel Food and Beverage Trends for 2013 and Jesse did a great job of breaking it down for us. Of particular interest was a lok at the future of bartending.

Looking for future flavors? Keep keen eyes on artisan boozeries. Ambitious bartenders (whose numbers grow exponentially) are infusing vodka and gin…and especially rum…with mango, kiwi and other housemade exotica (even dried fruit) as they stretch the notion of hand-crafted cocktails. Restaurant and hotel chains, straining to step away from bottled and powdered shortcuts, are playing catch-up.

It’s no surprise to us that bartenders are on the leading edge of flavor experimentation. They’re not called “mixologists” for nothing. If you’re looking at experimenting more with your drink offerins in 2013, it’s worth keeping in mind that the artisan, natural, and organic movements are well on their way in the cocktail scene. While it may be more difficult to put these drinks together than standard fare, they offer a way to stand out and can be a great unique selling point for caterers and event planners.

Restaurant.org recently surveyed 200 of the nation’s leading bartenders to see what they expected the hot trends to be for 2013. The overwhelming trend jumping out in the survey is growing consumer preference for local, even produced on-site, drinks.

On-site, barrel-aged drinks came in at #1 on the What’s Hot list with locally product spirits, locally sourced fruit/berries/produce, regional signature cocktails, and locally produced beer all making the top ten.

The local and organic movements have been growing in recent years and it’s clear that they’re set to make their mark on the bar industry in 2013 and beyond. Consumers care more about where their food and drinks are coming from and what the implications are for that both from an economic, social, and health perspective.

This is clear across the board as locally produced wine, locally produced spirits, and locally produced beer were all in the top 2 of their respective categories. This is worth noting as it offers a clear way for you to differentiate your drink offerings from other competitors with a unique and trending theme. Even as many people are cutting budgets, people are paying top dollar for locally sourced goods.

Also of note in the report was the growing prominence and success of social media for marketing and loyalty programs.

You can download the entire report here.

Big Event Companies Forecast Top Trends for 2012-2013

Lisa Hurley, editor at Special Events, wrote this article back in September. It’s just as true if not more so today as the year is winding to a close. Three trends in the Events Industry stood out to us. They all seem to be coming to a head at the same time: the “green” movement, cost cutting, and technology.

As companies move into the future, all three of these trends are going to play major roles. Pressure from consumers as well as companies’ goals to operate more sustainably going forward is leading to more environmentally friendly events. This is accomplished by relying more on technology advancement, particularly mobile and social media that allow event planners to increase engagement of attendees and exposure of the event in a “green” fashion.

As the economy has tightened in recent years, event planners have been forced to become more creative and better at justifying the costs of live events. Advancement in technology make quantifying the value of live events easier than ever before, though the intangible benefits remain as high as ever.

You can read the full article here.

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