3 Product Skills Online Courses to Offer Teams in 2021

What learning and development opportunities do your teams want in 2021? Find out how you and your teams can benefit from product skills training and check out some of our newest course releases.

Back in July, we released the first insights from our Hospitality Professionals survey which revealed what frontline hospitality workers are looking for when it comes to personal and professional development. We’ve long championed the wealth of development opportunities within hospitality, and despite a challenging year for the sector, those opportunities will grow again.

When asked what learning and development opportunities they would like made available to them, more than half of the respondents rated skills and product knowledge training. And this was particularly linked with drink-led venues with these being a popular choice amongst pub and bar team members.

By providing learning activities that align with the demand and personal goals of your teams, operators can improve employee satisfaction, engagement and benefit from a knowledgeable workforce that can succeed in sales and service of a range of products.

In this article, we’ll look at some of our newest product skills based online courses, and how they align with customer demand, market trends and how they can ultimately help your venue throughout 2021.

3 Product Skills Online Courses to Offer Teams in 2021

Up and coming – Rum

We’ve been hearing for some time now that rum is about to experience a similar rise in popularity to gin and is set to be ‘the next big thing’ in the drinks market. Maybe 2020 was to be the year of rum. It’s certainly seen a number of new entries to the rum market with Kopparberg releasing a cherry rum back in June and BrewDog launching a botanical rum late last year and an influx of premium labels in the market.

Despite a small drop in YoY revenue for rum of 6.9%, the market is still predicted to grow annually with that revenue being focused out of home. Unlike some other popular alcoholic drinks, rum seems to be more popular out of home, and along with the diversity in products among the new spiced, white, dark and aged rums, this is a good place to start in product-based training for your teams.

Check out our Basics of Rum collection here. The collection comprises of three short courses that covers everything your teams need to know about rum from the history, different styles and preparation of classic rum cocktails.  

A modern classic – Gin

The huge surge in gin popularity over the last few years has seen gin overtake whiskey as the nation’s favourite spirit. And while everyone is wondering what the next gin phenomenon will be, we wondered, is it even slowing down?

Revenue in the gin segment amounts to £10,715m in 2020, and while that reflects a small dip of 4.8% YoY, the market is still expected to grow annually by 7.3%. The boom in gin sales has predominantly been led by a younger demographic, and while gin sales may slow down overall, the habits built into a generation will be set, meaning gin will continue to be a popular drink for many years to come. Sales of gin also benefit from a wide variety of flavour profiles and custom serves that mean special glassware and garnishes are expected alongside the customers’ favourite tipple.

The saturated (no pun intended!) gin market may mean that there are too many suppliers fighting for a slice of the gin pie, but as operators, the sales opportunity is as big in 2021 as it has been for the several years previous. More premium brands have entered the market in recent times, following the rise of new more health-conscious drinking habits which mean consumers are drinking less, but better. Operators need to define their offering, choosing a selection of gins that meet the needs of its customers and serve them well, rather than stocking an overwhelming selection.

Our Gin and the Perfect Pairing product skills course is available now and explores several key areas of knowledge that assist teams in the service and sale of gin, including making the correct pairing and how to serve perfectly every time.

One for every occasion – Wine

Compared with the rise of spirits wine feels like it’s in more of a slump. But should we really overlook the role wine still plays in the drink-led market? Revenue in the wine segment amounts to £16,561m in the UK in 2020, a not-insignificant amount even with a -9% dip YoY and this is fairly evenly split between at home and out of home market share. Wine continues to be a key revenue driver, so don’t neglect this staple beverage in your operation.

Early this year, CGA’s Wine Insight Report revealed some interesting trends among consumers that operators could capitalise on. The report highlighted some of the important nuances in the best ways to increase the appeal of wine to different age groups. The 18-34-year-old group felt the most knowledgeable and were more likely than average to be influenced by bar staff’s recommendations. Those aged 35-54 were more inclined to self-learn using educational wine menus rather than seek advice. And the over 55s were the most demanding of staff knowledge and notably spend the most money on average on wine as well.

As well as these consumer insights, CGA’s ‘Next Big Thing in Wine’ report also revealed some of the major trends in the out-of-home wine drinking market. English wines were seeing a rise in popularity pre-lockdown, with sales up 33% YoY, which could reflect the more sustainable attitudes of consumers and the rise in choosing ‘homegrown’ products. Following the sustainable trend, there was also a reported increase in more environmentally friendly canned wines. The report also revealed a growing interest in wine-based spritz cocktails, with 72% of cocktail drinkers saying they would drink one out-of-home.

By increasing your team’s knowledge about wine, you can capitalise on these consumer and market trends to improve your own wine service and encourage staff to ‘show off’ their knowledge to help customers. As restrictions ease and people start to socialise in venues again, consumers are likely to want to try something different to what they can get at home and make the most of being able to go out freely again. Our Wine – Raise Your Glass online course will help your teams gain this knowledge, demonstrate how to use wine selection to enhance the guest experience and ultimately gain confidence in sharing their own wine knowledge.

Share this blog