Friday, June 28, 2013

The Big Deal With "Skinny"

The newest trend in restaurant cocktails involves slimming down everything but the profits.

Skinny kicks up sales
Cocktails with the word “skinny” in their name have jumped a staggering 44% in the Q1 at the top 500 restaurant chains, and have more than doubled in each of the last three quarters, according to an industry study. Skinny has quickly become the “it” word in cocktails, popping up everywhere imaginable, but what is the buzz about?

What’s skinny?
Skinny refers to a cocktail that contains fewer calories. They often are made with mixers that have fewer calories, but still pack a punch of flavor. For example, a Red Lobster Lobsterita packs an astounding 890 calories per glass, while a Chili’s Skinny Margarita comes in at a mere 110 calories.

It’s not diet, it’s skinny
Diet implies sacrifice, where as skinny signifies aspirations and intent. Utilizing the term is a smart move especially since sacrificing drinks is the last thing restaurants want patrons to do. Cocktails have a higher margin than food, so using a name that implies guilt-free indulgence instead of sacrificing, is key. Admittedly, calorie counters like me feel at ease ordering these skinny drinks and won’t be afraid to go for a second round since they perceive less of an impact on their diet. More drinks equals more money for the business, and less calorie counting for those enjoying the tasty concoctions. Winning

In terms of marketing, the re-branding of diet drinks by removing the negative associations and using a lighter feeling word is brilliant, and judging by the bottom line, effective. The cost of the name change is minimal while delivering a revenue stream that is anything but skinny. Talk about “fat “results.

Read more on the subject at AdAge