As consumers continue to explore crafting cocktails, enjoying wine and making their own beer at home, the barware category has witnessed an increase in interest and demand.
Industry insiders said that their customers are making a concerted effort to choose barware that speaks to their individual tastes, preferences and personalities. Consumers are shopping independent gourmet retail shops for tools such as wine openers, muddlers and bar spoons, in a variety of designs and styles. They are also looking for specialty glassware, retailers said, to pair with their favorite spirits, beers and wines while imbibing or entertaining at home.
The barware category has proven to be a boon for retailers, especially due to the home entertaining trend, as many have reported an increase in sales in 2018. Retailers have also stated they have increased their barware inventory in the last couple of years and many continue to plan to do so. According to the State of the Industry survey, 30% of retailers plan to grow their barware program during the next year, while 67% plan to keep it as is.
And while retailers reported their customers are seeking classic bar tools such as a cocktail shaker, bottle opener or corkscrew, consumers are also seeking additional tools such as a cocktail strainer, muddler, smoke box or jigger to help them recreate the elevated cocktails they are enjoying at local restaurants.
In addition to making cocktails, customers are also educating themselves on the variations of wine and, therefore, are coming to retailers for tools that help them open, pour and preserve their wines in a more effective way. Sophisticated palates are seeking out accessories that will preserve the taste, body and flavor of their wine so that it can be enjoyed as it was meant to be.
Barware has also successfully moved its way into many retailer’s educational programs, with several shops reporting they have hosted classes focused on mixology, wine education and craft beer brewing. These classes and workshops present another sales opportunity for retailers to showcase and demo their tools and glassware.
Gifting barware, similar to gifting wine accessories, also helped retailers attract customers and increase sales, as the popularity of cocktail culture continues to be an influence on consumers.
Barware, too, continues to be a design element in homes. Bar carts are still trending in home décor and consumers are looking to items that are not only functional, but display beautifully as well.