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Restaurant Sciences LLC, an independent firm that tracks food and beverage product sales in North America, has reported a significant increase in average spirit and cocktail prices throughout the past six months at both high-end and low-end restaurants.
The data was compiled from November 2012 through April 2013.
Restaurants with an average party check under $40, as well as those over $90, have seen the average price paid by consumers rise by between 4.5 percent and 11.2 percent, with the biggest increases coming at the lowest end of the market. Also, the casual dining and bar/nightclub segments, where most spirits are sold, showed virtually no increase in price.
"We looked at a sub-sample from our database of approximately 100 million drink purchases across the U.S., and we believe that the increasing price of spirits is the result of a mix of moderate price-taking by operators in the upper and lower tiers, combined with some upward product migration or experimentation by consumers. Independent restaurant operators are driving the spirits' increases, since the chains are far more prevalent in midscale casual dining where prices are holding steady," said Chuck Ellis, president of Restaurant Sciences LLC.
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