The importance of local community to brewers is also highlighted in the new report, The Future of Beer and Cider: 2021, which points out that consumers will want to know how brands are supporting recovery from the pandemic in their local communities.
Mintel believes that this will involve assisting neighbourhood bars and small locally-owned restaurants.
Its report found that 62% of UK beer-buyers and drinkers agree beer brands that help support local pubs are more appealing than those that don’t.
Consumer health-consciousness and sustainability priorities will also continue to shape the beer and cider markets while e-commerce emerges as the retail channel to watch, according to Mintel.
Some 54% of UK adults who’ve drunk and bought beer agree that this is their favourite/go-to alcoholic drink for an evening in.
Mintel believes that the future of the category will include more moderate Low- and No-alcohol products, new flavour options and broadened sustainability claims.
The report also suggests how, over the course of the next two years, companies can appeal to at-home drinkers.
The Future of Beer and Cider: 2021 states, “Beer and cider companies can appeal to consumers who’ll do more of their drinking at home with premium brands, food pairing education and the convenience of e-commerce ordering”.
“The rising number of health-conscious adults globally will drive a need for more Low- and No-alcohol innovation,” states Mintel, adding, “Corporate ethical and environmental commitments will return as purchase differentiators.”
Over the course of the next five years experiential shopping will be brought to e-commerce while sustainable ingredients will be of interest to conscientious consumers.
“Non-alcoholic products will be essential as the pandemic issues a wake-up call about personal and public health,” states the report which points out that the pandemic ended a three-year trend of annual growth in product launches.
In 2020, beer and cider product launches fell 3% on those taking place in 2019.
But big brewers led the way last year with 5% of global beer and cider launches coming from the Heineken stables, with 4% coming from AB InBev and 4% from Carlsberg.
“Beer and cider brands have been diversifying their sustainability credentials beyond recyclable packaging to meet consumer expectations,” states Mintel which also finds that, “The growing popularity of hard seltzers has forced beer and cider brands to boost their presence in the better-for-you space by launching low-calorie and diet options.
“Committing to sustainable production values has been another notable trend in recent beer and cider launches.”
Health concern increases the need for Alcohol-free products
But the report also warns that, “In the coming years, individuals, governments and public health organisations will have more bandwidth to focus on proactive improvements to health and wellness.
“After surviving a global health threat, governments and health officials will call more attention to unhealthy lifestyle habits. This will place alcohol in the crosshairs.
“To educate adults about the health risks of alcohol, governments will take actions similar to those used to curtail tobacco usage such as mandating warning labels or increasing taxes.
“Companies will address health through alcohol-free brands instead of positioning alcoholic drinks as ‘healthy’. Non-alcoholic beer, cider and even soft drink brands will be needed to stay relevant with health-conscious adults,” it concludes.