The key beer, spirit and no-lo trends for 2021

10 February, 2021 by Andy Young

Kaddy, founded by Rich Coombes and Mike Abbott, is a tech-enabled wholesale platform which simplifies the business between alcohol suppliers and trade customers.

Available in New South Wales and Victoria, hundreds of companies from across the industry, from hospitality operators and bottle shop owners, to craft beer suppliers and global distillers are now using the platform.

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This widespread scope of exposure to what is happening across the industry gives the Kaddy team all the data it needs to see what are the key trends emerging and so predict what we can look forward to seeing in 2021.

Coombes shared his predictions for the key drinks trends for 2021, with The Shout. Here’s what he had to say.

  1. Aussies to remain ‘Crazy for Hazys’ (Hazy Pale Ales)

“After the runaway success of the hazy New England India Pale Ale (NEIPA) phenomenon that has dominated the beer industry, the less boozy Hazy Pale Ale category has now exploded in popularity with consumers this summer and will continue to do so as the year goes on with lots of new products hitting the shelves,” Coombes said.

“In the last three months, Kaddy’s sales have doubled for this style as demand from consumers for these drinks increases.

“The Hazy Pale style appeals to both beer lovers and casual drinkers alike. The lower ABV makes it easier to drink in moderation than its heavier older brother the NEIPA, whilst a fruity and juicy taste profile without the typical bitterness found in IPAs provides an approachable access point to the world of craft.

“The haze craze has been a global phenomenon, as consumers enjoy the well-rounded, creamy mouthfeel and juicy flavour profiles offered by these beers.”

  1. Australian Craft Spirits set to shine

Coombes told The Shout: “Craft distilleries are popping up everywhere in our backyard with over 300 distilleries now operating in Australia. Since the start of November 50 per cent of all suppliers that have joined Kaddy have been Australian Craft Distilleries.

“Brands such as Feels Botanical, Hellfire Bluff Distillery, Fannys Bay Distillery and Wildflower Gin are all Aussie craft operations making impressive products on our shores and making strong inroads onto retailer shelves.

“The demand for Aussie craft spirits is expected to grow market share over the next five years, as presently it only comprises 0.5 per cent of the total spirits market, so a fourfold increase isn’t unlikely.

“Supporting smaller local businesses is becoming increasingly important for consumers, and it’s obviously great for our economy too with two-thirds of all Australian distilleries being located outside metro cities, highlighting the importance to the social and economic fabric of regional Australia. As more Aussies travel domestically in 2021, the year is looking bright for Aussie craft spirits producers.”

  1. Non-alcoholic beer and spirits will continue to grow in popularity

“The non-alcoholic trend isn’t necessarily a new one, but it’s one that we expect to explode further in 2021,” Coombes said.

“The innovation in the sector over the last 12 months has been impressive. We are seeing compelling alternatives with the complex taste profiles of alcoholic counterparts hitting the shelves, and these are really resonating with consumers. The proliferation of products in the category gives drinkers variety and choice, making a switch to non-alc easier than ever before.

“Kaddy started off with zero non-alc brands on the platform but that quickly grew to 20 by the second half of 2020. Of Kaddy’s 250+ suppliers, almost five per cent of the beer brands are now exclusively non-alcoholic.

“Since then, interest in the category and sales have continued to increase. In the last three months of 2020, the volume of non-alcoholic products sold through the platform grew 10-fold. And in December alone, Kaddy saw weekly order volumes of non-alc products grew 1.5x every week.

“Furthermore, and what’s really interesting, is that we’re seeing non-alc products compete with alcoholic beverages in terms of bestsellers each week. For example, in the week prior to Australia Day, a time where retailers are stocking up big ahead of the public holiday, Heaps Normal’s non-alc Quiet XPA was one of the top 10 best-selling products on Kaddy.

“As Aussies continue to become more health-conscious, non-alcoholic beverages are going to continue to boom.”

The challenges of the last 12 months have made predicting the year ahead more difficult, but there have been several predictions made already: