The lifestyle choices driving alcohol trends

07 August, 2019 by Andy Young

Drinks market analysis company, IWSR, has released its Global Trends Report, which examines developments and identifies opportunities around the world for the beer, wine, spirits and mixed drinks market.

The report has highlighted several of the key current and emerging trends impacting global alcohol markets. The report states that “global changes in consumer behaviour, technology, economics and even environmental stewardship are helping to drive evolution and innovation in the beverage alcohol industry”.

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Drilling down into the trends IWSR said that “global sophistication” was a key factor with “new entry-level brands helping aspirational consumers in developing markets to discover unfamiliar beverage alcohol categories”.

In developed markets like Australia the report emphasised the ongoing premiumisation trend as “an attitude of ‘less but better’ driving consumers towards crafted products – often with a hyper local spin”.

This focus for consumers means that more niche and localised flavours are starting to gain traction “for instance, spirits made with locally foraged botanicals” the report said – a trend well established in Australia particularly within the gin category.

An interesting factor for both suppliers, venues and retailers to consider is a desire for education and experiences among consumers.

The report said: “Increasingly niche and personalised experiences are helping curious consumers to connect with their favourite drink categories (for example monthly subscription clubs and experiences such as ‘meet the maker’ events at craft distilleries and breweries). Wine education continues to spread in developing markets, especially throughout Asia.”

The report also said that lifestyle and ethical choices are increasingly influencing consumer choices and behaviour.

“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,” The IWSR said.

“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.”

TheShout has reported the rise in non-alcoholic drinks in Australia, through company’s like Lyre’s and this is a trend that the IWSR report acknowledges.

“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.”

The other area that IWSR said was driving consumer trends and engagement was “social experience and inclusivity”. In particular this was the increasing popularity of drinks tourism, pop-up events, festival and “interactive spaces which encourage people to plan drinks-led experiences”.

The report said: “In today’s restaurant scene, themed cocktails and unique food and drink pairings can be a core component of the dining experience and may even provide a route into novel cuisines.”