The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (re-named Drinks Ireland last week), has outlined 10 drinks trends it witnessed in the drinks market this Summer:
1. Herb infusions and dehydrated fruit in cocktails
“Cocktail drinking consumers are becoming more sophisticated and we saw herb infusions, dehydrated and locally-sourced fruit and unusual flavours become even more popular this Summer,” states Drinks Ireland, “These are both tasty and Instagram-friendly.”
2. Presentation proves the more Instagrammable the better!
It’s not just cocktails that are getting the ‘instagramable’ touch. Drinks Ireland reports that there’s an increased focus in bars and restaurants on glassware, ice and overall presentation when it comes to serving drinks – from unusually-shaped beer glasses to gin goblets topped with fruit.
“While great for pictures, the size and shape of the glass and ice is also important for taste,” it adds, but the on-trade is advised that putting out such imagery creates an expectation which, if not met, will lead to a negative impression of the bar.
3. Going compostable
As well as being mindful of their Instagram feeds, consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of sustainability in all aspects of life. This has resulted in a huge shift away from plastic straws, a move which many Irish bars are leading on by offering cardboard or other non-plastic alternatives.
4. Rise of the Irish whiskey cocktail
Sales of Irish whiskey in Ireland rose by 5.4% in 2018, from 552,000 nine-litre cases to 582,000 cases.
5. Sun’s out, rosé’s out!
While Ireland has experienced an Irish Summer with plenty of rain, there were some signs of sunshine, states Drinks Ireland, “Rosé consumption increased in 2017 for the first time in many years, from 3% in 2016 to 5%, helped by the good weather. So, on those sunny days and in between showers, we know that Irish consumers increasingly chose rosé as an option”.
6. Summer gin drinkers think pink
The pink gin phenomenon has continued with Irish consumers buying over half-a-million bottles of pink gin in 2018, “… and the refreshing option continued to be a popular choice this Summer.
“There are now more than 20 gin producers and more than 50 gin brands in Ireland, with 12 new brands introduced in 2018,” reports Drinks Ireland.
7. Infusions and flavoured vodka
Despite the growth of whiskey and gin in recent years, vodka remains Ireland’s favourite spirits drink with producers responding to a more sophisticated consumer.
“This Summer we saw the growing popularity of infused and flavoured vodka” reports Drinks Ireland, “in some case distilled with real botanicals and infused with natural fruit essences. This has proven to be a great alternative to pink gin for those vodka lovers.”
8. Local and homegrown ciders for consumers seeking authenticity
About three-quarters of all cider consumed here last year was made here, marking a 2% year-on-year increase in the market share for local purchases.
“While cider is popular all year round, Summer cider drinkers enjoyed the huge amount of choice on the market this year,” states Drinks Ireland.
9. Experiential wonder
“On those showery days when you need to escape to a bar, pub or restaurant, we see that consumers are increasingly being met with experiential wonder, whereby the construction of a drink compliments its setting and enhances the overall experience.”
10. Low and non-alcoholic beer
An increasingly popular option for health-conscious consumers, sales of low and non-alcoholic beer jumped by 60% in Ireland last year.
“Overall alcohol consumption has fallen in Ireland since 2001” pointed out Drinks Ireland, “but there is more and more quality and – in many cases – homegrown offerings on the market.”