6 consumer drinking trends and how to embrace them
The only constant thing in life is change, and consumer drinking trends are no exception.
Although the alcohol beverage industry has met a fair few challenges over the past few years, it has shown resilience and responsiveness.
So, how have the recent changes in consumer behaviour affected the wine and alcoholic beverages space, and how can those in the industry embrace these shifts?
One of the most popular drinking trends today is enhancing beverages and adding mix-ins.
The industry has responded by introducing a wide range of beverages with mix-ins and enhancements like:
Fermented mixers are gaining traction in the beverage market with products such as kombucha, ginger beer and hard cider providing a unique twist. In fact, industry experts expect hard kombucha to reach a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.4%.
According to the IWSR Drink Market Analysis, consumers spend less on alcohol because they have to pay more for necessities such as groceries.
In countries with rising inflation rates, not buying alcohol is an effective money-saving strategy. However, forecasts suggest this trend will reverse when consumer confidence returns.
Consumers still crave experiences, and the demand for on-premise sales remain stable in the United States (US) and Europe.
In China, Japan, and Taiwan, the number of people planning to visit on-premise locations increased after government officials relaxed COVID-19 restrictions. Those in Generation Z who are of drinking age and millennials are driving this growth in key markets.
When it comes to drinking trends, RTD options are on the rise.
IWSR data released in October 2022 shows a 24% growth of RTD volumes over the next five years.
The study forecasts volumes across 10 markets, which include:
Experts predict the US market to be the largest, with consumers gravitating toward the convenience of pre-mixed drinks. Industry experts expect cocktails/long drinks like mojitos or gin and tonics to drive RTD growth worldwide, surpassing hard seltzers in 2025.
In the case of wine specifically, it seems consumers are choosing to drink less (but what they drink is of higher quality). Wine Intelligence data reveals 39% of consumers in key global markets are consciously moderating their wine drinking.
Apart from fluctuating demand, drink choices are changing too.
We’ve been seeing growing interest in cocktails and spirits, especially among 18-34-year-olds.
The wine demographic, however, is ageing, with declining interest from younger consumers. But, there’s hope on the horizon to engage them!
Recent research shows two out of three 18 to 34 year-olds like to keep up to date with the latest trends, so innovation is key to surviving and capturing that younger audience. If wine suppliers turn to creative marketing strategies and bold new flavours, it could work wonders, much as it did for gin and craft beer.
The record-breaking use of home delivery apps in 2021 also spurred e-commerce sales of every type of alcoholic beverage.
UberEats, Deliveroo, Doordash and Drizly are prime examples of driving up alcoholic beverage sales, according to IWSR. As establishments continue to face unpredictable restrictions, this trend of at-home drinking remains high.
Although wine might be seen as a luxury product, the demand for higher quality and more expensive wines rose during 2022.
Although overall wine volumes fell, there was an increase in the premium and high-end market segments.
It seems that consumer budgets otherwise spent on going out to wine and dine were reallocated to better quality food and beverages to consume at home.
How can alcoholic beverage suppliers cope with these unpredictable fluctuations and new taste and drinking trends?
By turning to groupage shipping.
Groupage is an ideal solution for the wine and beverage sector, here’s why: