The 2009 Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center on March 3rd and 4th. Attendees were club, bar and restaurant owners and managers, as well as on-premise distributors looking for new alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to stock.
Fry Fabrications, sponsor of BevNET’s coverage of the show was busy showcasing their custom-designed on-premise accessories to enhance a consumer’s club & restaurant experience.
As in previous shows, on-premise liquor and spirit companies accounted for the majority of beverage exhibitors on the trade floor. Décor, electronics, foodservice equipment and POS/signage were also in abundance. On the alcohol side, new vodka, tequila, absinthe, rum, and flavored spirits debuted. Interestingly, Soju’s and sake’s were also well represented.
However, an obviously direct sign of the economy, the actual square footage of the trade floor was considerably smaller than last year along with the number of non-alcoholic beverages exhibiting – perhaps taking a larger hit than their alcoholic brethren. Noticeably absent exhibitors which had flashy booths at previous shows included Red Bull, Rockstar, PepsiCo, Miller/Coors and Heineken. Energy drinks were much lower in attendance this year with Monster, Roaring Lion, and Liquid Ice occupying the largest booth presence in the category.
According to Sean Hackney of Roaring Lion, “The number of Exhibitors this year appeared to be significantly lower than last – with several anchor brands opting not to attend. The number of energy drink booths was down to 8 from 35 last year. It was a pleasure to have a dominating floor presence.”
However, attendance seemed to be high, with the aisles crowded and sometimes congested both days.
“We had great foot traffic and the quality of the participants was exceptional,” said Hackney. “On Premise professionals showed up eager to make good business.”
While the energy category has consolidated this year, mixers, spring waters, and detox brands picked up the slack. Here’s a sampling of what we saw at the show this year.
•Aqua Source, a Canadian 16oz Tetrak-Pak spring water.
•Berry Up, a not-from-concentrate fruit mixer with real fruit pieces, available in 32 oz. frozen bottles of Cherry, Marion Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberry, Raspberry and Mango.
•Cheerz Intellishot, a functional, 1.5 oz. lemon-lime detox shot/mixer loaded with super-antioxidants and immune system boosters.
•Chronic Ice, a new, non-carbonated, natural black and green tea drink with a hint of hemp.
•drank, a relaxation drink containing melatonin, valerian root and rose hips.
•Drench, an antioxidant enhanced water available in Lemon, Strawberry Pomegranate, Berry and Green Tea. A Drench H2O still SKU will be available soon.
•Evo Energy’s Citrus Bliss and Sugar Free Pomegranate Acai along with their Lemon Lime and Grape energy shots.
•Faded Energy’s sugar free SKU.
•Gnar Juice, an imported 100 percent Mediterranean pomegranate juice.
•GTOX, a new hangover detox shot with glucarate to aid in liver detoxification.
•Liquid Nitro’s 3 oz. superfruit energy shot.
•Novocaine, with kava extract from Malava Beverages – the Anti-Stress drink.
•Szentkiralyi, an imported mineral water from Hungary available in still and sparkling.
•Turbo Energy Drink will launch RTD 8.3 oz. can versions of their Blue Lotus bag-in-box energy drink in original and sugar-free.