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Cheers! How on-trade sales can build a brand following from the Cruise market

Exclusive CiR research into the on board buying behaviour of wine, spirit and beer buyers on cruises, shows the potential brands have for acquiring new followers. 

Continuing the CiR review of Cruise research, the focus turns to the on board buying of alcoholic beverages on cruises and demonstrates the propensity that passengers have to try new brands when drinking in the bars and restaurants on offer.

Consumption frequency

Across the cruise markets of America & Caribbean, Asia and Europe, more than four in five passengers are enjoying an alcoholic beverage in the cruise ships' bars and restaurants throughout their cruise. That's strong penetration amongst the target audience. Bar usage is heaviest amongst European cruise passengers, where almost nine out of ten passengers enjoy an alcoholic beverage on board. Not surprising then that almost half of European passengers consume alcoholic beverages each day of their trip. This drops to four in ten amongst passengers on American cruises, but still remains the highest usage frequency, and one in four on the Asian cruises. Passengers on Asian cruises are more likely to consume alcoholic beverages on most days, rather than everyday.

Consumption occassions

As expected, mealtimes and at in-board bars are the runaway winners when it comes to where and when passengers are enjoying their alcoholic beverages. Over three quarters of cruise passengers consume alcoholic beverages in these two locations. Also popular with over half of passengers are special events, such as the theatres or shows, relaxing by the pool and relaxing in other public areas, such as the deck.

Top consumption occassions; Restaurants, on-board bars, shows and theatres, relaxing by the pool and deck

Leading the mealtime consumption occasion are the European cruise passengers, with more than 80% enjoying an alcoholic beverage with their meal, ahead of the levels amongst passengers on American and Asian cruises. The lead consumption occasion on Asian cruises is in on board bars, ahead of mealtimes, whilst American cruise passengers are just as likely to consume at mealtime as in an on board bar. 

Brand loyalty

Across all consumption occassions, the passengers show propensity to purchase non-regular brands, with two thirds of passengers being open to switching to a non-regular brand, or a non-regular alcohol type (i.e.. a switch from wine to spirits). So one-third of passengers have strong brand loyalty, but two-thirds are floating.

Where can buyers be influenced? Mealtimes actually show the strongest brand loyalty, when over four in ten passengers remain loyal to their regular brand, rising to almost six in ten amongst passengers on American cruises. Loyalty is lowest amongst passengers on Asian cruises however, with just one in four remaining loyal to their regular brand at mealtimes - and across most other consumption occasions.

On board bars and Special events, such as the theatre and shows, demonstrate the greatest potential for drinkers to switch from their regular brand, with almost one in seven switching. This presents a strong opportunity for branding, secondary support and sponsorship in these areas to attract the attention of the consumer and get into their brand repertoire.

Drinking in the public areas and by the pool also see high levels of brand disloyalty and again show the opportunity for brands in placement and availability. This opportunity is also present for the in cabin drinking occassions, and the public celebratory occassions (such as boarding welcome drinks).

Report Summary

Taken from recent research, these reports provide the insight necessary to tailor the on-trade alcoholic beverage offer on-board cruise liners within the Asian, European and American & Caribbean regions.  With detailed chapters covering on-board alcohol consumption trends, alcoholic beverages consumed, alcoholic beverage consumption occasions, these studies provide actionable recommendation to tailor the on-trade alcoholic beverage offer to travellers, and how to shape consumer behaviour in terms of trading up, driving brand recruitment and promoting non-regular brand consumption behaviour. 

For more details on the Asian Cruise 2015 | On-Trade Alcohol Review, European Cruise 2016 | On-Trade Alcohol Review and North American & Caribbean Cruise 2015 | On-Trade Alcohol Review, please follow the links.

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