Recently 7,000 Bacardi employees across the globe will turn on their “out of office” message to go out on the town and visit bars in more than 100 cities, all in the name of spotting what’s new and next for cocktails. The activity, called Back to the Bar, brings everyone at Bacardi together for a day of “barstool research” with bartenders who are the trend spotters and tastemakers of the spirits business and a direct link to consumers. According to Nielsen CGA, 40% of revenue in bars is influenced by bartenders as they are the go-to experts to help you pick your drink.
As part of the third iteration of Back to the Bar, the largest privately-held spirits company sheds light on what’s creating excitement for bartenders with the release of the Bacardi 2020 Cocktail Trends Report. The report highlights trends based on insights captured from a survey Bacardi ran with bartenders and bar ambassadors in 2019, as well as third-party research from the world’s leading consumer insights firms.
“Back to the Bar tradition is a time when everyone across the company, regardless of day job, becomes an ambassador and a researcher by going back to where our business is made – the local bars and restaurants,” says Mahesh Madhavan, CEO of family-owned Bacardi Limited. “We are in the relationship business and I never miss an opportunity to talk to a bartender or our consumers to learn what they’re seeing and what they think will be the next big thing.”
As the company celebrates its 158th anniversary this week, Back to the Bar also commemorates the company’s legacy of a founder’s mentality and entrepreneurial spirit. For seven generations, the family-owned business has instilled a belief that brands are built in bars, not boardrooms. Everyone at Bacardi participates in this “roll-up your sleeves” approach to data collection and serves as influencers by talking to friends, family, and consumers about the brands.
“In an era where people are flooded with data, there is no substitute for putting feet on the street and seeing first-hand what’s happening at the bar,” says Jacob Briars, Global Advocacy Director at Bacardi. “When something excites the bartenders, we know that it is a matter of time before we start to see a shift in the mindset and behavior of our guests.”