Global changes in consumer behaviour, technology, economics and even environmental stewardship are helping to drive evolution and innovation in the beverage alcohol industry. IWSR Drinks Market Analysis’ annual Global Trends Report, released recently, examines developments in drinks and it identifies opportunities around the world for the beer, wine, spirits and mixed drinks markets.
Among the key current and emerging trends identified by IWSR analysts’ on-the-ground research are:
- New entry-level brands are helping aspirational consumers in developing markets to discover unfamiliar beverage alcohol categories
- In developed markets, premiumisation and an attitude of “less but better” is driving consumers towards crafted products – often with a hyper-local spin
- More niche and localised flavours are starting to gain traction (for instance spirits made with locally-foraged botanicals)
- Increasingly niche and personalised experiences are helping curious consumers to connect with their favourite drink categories (eg monthly subscription clubs and experiences such as “meet the maker” events at craft distilleries and breweries)
- The rise in consumer interest in wellness has fuelled development of No- and Low-Alcohol products and “better-for-you” beverages that are low-calorie, sugar-free, gluten-free and that feature natural nutrients and healthy ingredients
- Consumers are looking for ways to decrease their environmental impact on a micro level such as adopting plant-based diets, reducing air travel, shunning plastic waste and consuming water and other natural resources more responsibly. Some consumers now expect drink brands to hold themselves to similar standards throughout the production chain
- People are also gravitating to companies and brands that are more authentic in their support of charities or local communities.
For beverage manufacturers and suppliers, personalised and interactive marketing campaigns are becoming key with technological innovations such as smart labels changing the way consumers interact with products, companies and brands.
Social Experience and Inclusivity
Drinks tourism, pop-up events, festivals and interactive spaces are encouraging people to plan drinks-led experiences. In today’s restaurant scene, for example, themed cocktails and unique food and drink pairings can be a core component of the dining experience.
Thanks to macro social and economic changes products are evolving to meet the newcomers’ needs and preferences.
The IWSR’s wide-ranging examination of global trends also includes product and category research broken down by region and market as well as insights into each category’s future outlook.