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Italian red wines are gaining traction on restaurant menus, as is prosecco.

In with prosecco and out with margaritas?

As 2019 gets underway, a new study from food and beverage industry tracker Technomic has a few predictions about what to expect on drinks menus this year. Spoiler alert: margaritas are facing some tough competition.

Here are five trends to watch for, according to Technomic’s research:

  1. Slow growth: Growth in alcohol sales is still trailing behind total food and beverage growth, Technomic’s researchers say. That means businesses should be looking for brands and categories that have the potential to grow, as well as consumer groups and occasions to target those beverages to.
  2. Margaritas on the decline?: The perennial happy hour favorite has a lot of new contenders to fend off. As bars and restaurants increasingly look to craft creative, one-of-a-kind cocktail menus, there may be less and less space for a classic margarita.
  3. Vino, per favore: Italian red varietals saw some of the fastest growth on wine lists last year, Technomic’s report says. Bubbly prosecco is also gaining in popularity.
  4. Drink local: Consumers continue to ask for local brews, reflected in the slower on-premise growth of major craft beer labels, according to the report. Having some local craft options on the menu continues to be important.
  5. Knowledgeable bartenders: As consumers become more and more familiar with the wide world of cocktail options (blame the aforementioned one-of-a-kind cocktail menus), they also expect their bartenders to know how to prepare many of those drinks, Technomic’s researchers say.

Source: Watch for these trends on the beer, wine and cocktail scene in 2019 – Baltimore Business Journal