Brindiamo Group Experts Predict 2018's Beverage Industry Trends

Today's beverage drinker is changing. For years, the news has been dominated by the difference the emerging Millennial generation is making on the economy and consumerism. It's not just salaries, marriage, and the housing market they influence but the adult beverage industry as well. As we start to wrap-up the first quarter of 2018, we wanted to highlight some of the emerging trends you'll see throughout the rest of the year. 

Tasting Rooms and Satellite Taprooms 

All over the world, beer drinkers will find breweries and distilleries are opening brick-and-mortars as a way to bring their brand closer to the consumer. From airports to tourist attractions, if the state laws allow for these satellite taprooms to exist, breweries are taking advantage. This shift is in response to suppliers of raw materials trying to bring attention to the public about the process of beer making, and hoping drinkers who are well informed will ask these breweries to make beers using these raw materials. The response so far has been positive, and many brewers are choosing to set up these tasting rooms with a similar business model to retail rather than distribution. 

Drinkers are Looking for Experiences 

We are in the age of information, and consumerism has completely changed over the years for one reason or another. It's no longer acceptable for businesses to provide their customers with products. It's now their responsibility to create an entire experience. Case in point is grocery stores introducing cooking classes or in-store bars to bridge the gap in customer relationships. These introductions provide a unique opportunity to present products with an experience that is truly special. This idea is spreading into the adult beverage sector with many bars and restaurants offering patrons memorable experiences through applications such as virtual reality, escape rooms, indoor slides, ball pits, and even an ice room. 

Unfiltered Beer and Spirit Drinking 

According to a recent report, domestic beers have seen a dip in sales but are still proving to outperform imports. The drop in points for domestic brews equates to a direct increase for craft beers. Within these craft beers, IPAs grew 15% and will account for most of the craft beer growth we are expected to see in 2018. Much of the popularity can be attributed to a new movement in beer drinking where breweries are selling unfiltered beers. Clarity was once a mark of distinction amongst alcoholic beverages, but many companies are producing lines that are "cloudy" on purpose. From beer to vodka, distillers believe that by not filtering their product, customers can retain the full flavor and complexity of the spirit or beer. 

Awareness of Ingredients 

As we mentioned previously, we live in the age of information, and while consumers are looking for experiences, they also want more information about what they are consuming. There is a conscious shift in the way food is consumed, with many restaurants and eateries displaying information about the ingredients found in their dishes and on the menu. You can think of "farm to table," calorie listings and organic labels as examples. For 2018, this movement will shift heavily into the adult beverage industry, and many brewers and distillers will have to consider things like ethically sourced ingredients. Already, "no sugar" or "nothing added" is making its way onto labels, but many are looking for ways to explore the market without losing out on the quality of the beverage. For most, the response is texture and more explicitly adding carbonation to make cocktails a little more exciting. 

A Shift in Drinking Habits 

Millennials drink less than any generation that comes before them, and this new moderate attitude toward alcohol consumption is paving the way for different alcoholic beverages. Many non-alcoholic beers are seeing a spike in sales, Seedlip leading the pack. For spirits, individuals are shifting towards lower ABV alternatives like sherry, vermouth, or port, knocking the higher ABV's like vodka and gin off the top spot. Fortified wines, which were widely overlooked are being "discovered", as this new generation of consumers are considering things like calories and unwilling to drink products they don't think contribute much nutritional value. 

Waste Reduction 

The alcoholic beverage industry has for years been seeking out ways to improve waste for environmental purposes. The pressure will mount in 2018, and conversations about waste reduction will dominate much of the talk had by brewers and distillers. Headlines dominate the news about plastics found in the ocean, water and food shortages, and global warming, which result in consumers becoming more compassionate about their environment. When discussing the beverage trends for 2018, nothing will have more of an impact than waste management. 

Brindiamo Group helps adult beverage companies through strategic advisory. Together, we can craft a strategy to improve your products and tailor your business model to include some of these new adult beverage trends. For more information, contact us today.