Beverage Index 2021 | Germany

These drinks drive sales forward

Beverage sales finally pick up in the summer of 2021.
IMAGO / Westend61
Beverage sales finally pick up in the summer of 2021.

During the times of Corona lockdowns and closed restaurants, cafes and bars, the slump in beverage sales was distributed differently. Slowly, things are starting to pick up again. In addition, certain drinks are experiencing an unusual boom after Corona. iPad POS provider Orderbird publishes these and other findings in its "Beverage Index 2021".

For the Beverage Index, Orderbird evaluated anonymized data from over 8,400 gastronomic businesses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In addition to an analysis of the difficult situation during the Corona crisis, sales drivers can also be identified.

Cafés fared slightly better through the lockdown

During the closures in spring 2020 as well as from the end of 2020 until spring 2021, sales of beverages slumped particularly sharply. The restaurants generated between 86 and 90 percent less turnover with beverages during the lockdowns. The cafés came through these times with the least damage, thanks in part to to-go offers and thus fewer closures.
With the reopenings in the summer months, both 2020 and 2021, more drinks were consumed again. Restaurants and bars actually managed to outperform beverage sales in August 2020 compared to August 2019 before Corona. With 8.4 percent more sales at bars and 3.9 percent more sales at restaurants.

Restrictions put the brakes on renewed surge

While these top numbers could not be repeated in 2021, August is at least encouraging with positive trends across all restaurant sectors. For example, beverage sales in August 2021 have already made it to 94.3 percent for restaurants compared to August 2019; bars reached a similar level of 94.4 percent in August 2021 and cafes even reached 94.9 percent.

Limited space usage capacity, as well as restricted access to food and beverage establishments due to 3G and 2G regulations, continue to contribute to the fact that sales figures have not yet reached the levels of the comparable periods from 2019.

Summer top seller: Aperol Spritz

In addition to the general situation, the Beverage Index examines the revenue drivers in various beverage categories in July 2021, highlighting the top drinks in the alcoholic mixed beverage, high-proof beverage and non-alcoholic beverage segments.
Comparing the average sales of the top three drinks in alcoholic mixed drinks per restaurant business in July 2021, the leading Spritz variants achieve 179.5 percent higher sales compared to the second-placed Gin Tonic. Compared to the Mojito, the figure is as high as 311.6 percent.

The development is astonishing when measured against previous years. If we compare the sales figures from July 2019, the Spritz's sales increase was already 50.7 percent in July 2020. Another increase of 53.8 percent in Spritz sales in July 2021 compared to July 2020 underpins the triumphant success of these drink variants. They should definitely not be missing from any menu. Orderbird names Lillet Wild Berryas a newcomer among alcoholic mixed drinks with above-average sales growth.

High-percentage drinks

Another surprise in the higher-percentage segment, according to the 2021 Beverage Index, is the sales of liqueurs. Here, there is an average sales increase of 74.1 percent in July 2021 compared to July 2019. This means that average July sales by liqueurs in 2021 overtake those of rum by 24.1 percent and those of vodka by as much as 33.7 percent over the same period.

Coffee remains non-alcoholic bestseller

The top 3 best-selling non-alcoholic beverages in July 2021 are coffee by an overwhelming margin, followed by water and cola. For every water ordered in a food service establishment, 3.2 coffees were ordered in July 2021.

However, sales of the top seller, coffee, also suffered during the lockdowns. For example, coffee sales in foodservice establishments plummeted 43.5 percent during the first lockdown, as early as March 2020, to hit its lowest point, since the start of 2018, in April 2020. Compared to the pre-lockdown month of February 2020, April 2021 saw an 85.7 percent drop in sales.
For more information, check out the detailed 2021 Beverage Indexthat Orderbird publishes on its website.