4 Alcohol Insights to Meet Evolving Demand

Our taste for alcohol spans over 9000 years, from ancient Babylon to Bavaria. There are few substances that we have loved so much and produced so much of. For so long it’s been a massive part of cultures all over the world and it still is. Our consumption habits have and continue to evolve; we’re going to give you 4 insights to stay ahead of the game.

Quality over Quantity

Our alcohol habits are becoming more sophisticated. We’re trading the cheap vodka for artisanal gin, a standard lager for a craft beer. The market’s biggest players, although still leading, are adapting their strategies to accommodate this change. Carlsberg are a good example of this evolution. Reacting to falling sales, they’ve tried to rebrand as a premium lager creating new packaging, glassware and messaging.

Meet the demand for premium by incorporating quality cues into your brand. One way to do this is to use location to tell your story. It adds a sense of mythology and prestige, helps build authenticity and distinguishes you from the mass-produced. This has been the key Peroni’s success, having done more than any in recent years to catch the traditional players. Their mission is to “inject Italian style and craftmanship into the UK market”. People want their alcohol to come from somewhere, not just a factory line.

No / Low Alcohol

More and more people are abstaining from alcohol completely. 20% of the population don’t drink at all and dry January’s social mentions are up 1083% from 2015. Low/ no alcohol is emerging as a powerful segment; it’s a trend that’s only going to increase. There are, however, significant generational differences. Younger people are driving this falling consumption of alcohol whilst older people are generally drinking at the same rate; 55-64-year olds are the least likely not to drink at all.

If you’re considering a low or no alcohol line extension, make sure it’s good enough to stand out as a product in its own right rather than as a second-rate substitute, 1/5 customers see taste as a barrier to alternatives. It’s not just about abstinence but encouraging a positive choice.

Breaking with Convention

Cocktail growth is up 10%, gin and its ever-expanding range of flavours is booming with sales surpassing the £2bn mark, whisky traditions are being broken by companies such as Monkey Shoulder and Crabbies who are promoting Scotch made for mixing. The lines are blurring, old taboos are being broken down as people seek new and unique flavours.

Use this as an opportunity to be creative and mix up your offerings. This is a great time to carry out some market research, innovate and differentiate your product range. The potential for experimentation and creation is unlimited. Don’t be weighed down by how things have been traditionally done. Now is the time for innovation and creativity.

Growth of Ready to Drink

The ready to drink market (RTD) grew 40% in the last year. People are looking for more convenient ways to consume their liquor. With RTD’s you don’t have to rely on a mixologist, giving cocktail drinkers the same freedom as beer drinkers have traditionally enjoyed. Expect sustained growth within this space as flavours continue to expand and new entrants continue to join the market.

At Ponderosa, we have a wealth of experience in the alcohol industry. We took Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer from launch to a £150m brand and got Lamb’s Rum to No.1. Whether it’s NPD or development of an existing brand, we don’t do guesswork. We believe in data driven insights, that inspire more powerful ideas because they generate better results for our clients.

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