Alcoholic Beverage Trends 2019

2019 is shaping up to be a positive one for the adult beverage industry. Whether you are in the spirit, wine, or beer sector, key trends are affecting the way consumers purchase and engage with your product. The trends highlighted below reflect much of the U.S. and touches on global aspects that are influential.

10 Trends Affecting the Alcohol Industry

1. Craft beer will continue to see growth.

2018 was a good year for craft beer. Sales increased by 5% and around seven thousand breweries were open. The opening of breweries is expected to see continued growth with another thousand opening in 2019. According to C+R research group who analyzed nationwide trends "you can see that there is a heavy craft brewery presence in the Midwest as well as the Pacific Northwest" of the United States.

2. Online sales will continue to pick up the pace.

Lots of hurdles are present to sell alcohol online. Only five states allow direct shipping of spirits to consumers, and each site must confirm their visitors are old enough to drink. It didn't stop adult beverage start-up Drizly from seeing a 61% increase in growth. Even with the restrictions, there is a market available where people are interested in purchasing alcohol online.

3. Top-shelf products are seeing a surge in sales.

The millennial generation is impacting all sectors of the adult beverage market. Rather than getting calorie dense, low-alcohol beer, millennials are opting to invest their money in more expensive liquor with superior ingredients. The sales of super-premium spirits and high-end premium spirits grew 6%-7% last year.

4. Whiskey, tequila, brandy, and cognac are having their moment.

Even if you aren't active in the alcohol industry, it would be hard not to notice the whiskey trend that is spreading across not only America but around the world. But, the rest in this group aren't far behind. The fastest growth is blended malt Scotch increasing a whopping 25% in sales. Experts suggest the popularity of these beverages is due to the growing cocktail culture. Not to mention the innovation in crafting unique products and blends. It appears flavored drinks are having a moment like vanilla or salted caramel whiskey.

5. Hemp and alcohol beverage products are expected to find a way to merge.

Millennials consume less alcohol than the Baby Boomers or any generation before them. The downturn could be a result of the legalization of recreational pot in many states across the country. Cannabis is expected to surpass the $30 billion thresholds in 2021. Alcohol companies who want to stay relevant might start infusing their beverages with the herb. Beers with hemp extract are already on shelves in certain states, and Constellation Brands has invested $200 million into a Canadian company to produce cannabis-infused beverages.

6. Craft distilleries are increasing across the country.

Craft beer isn't the only beverage on a pendulum upswing craft distilleries are popping up everywhere too. Not a bad idea to get into the game that showed 19% growth since 2015. This sector of the market is expected to see continued growth between 15%-20% by 2022. Not sure if you qualify as a "craft" distillery? You must produce and bottle your product onsite and limit your production to 750,000 gallons or less per year.

7. Larger companies want in on the craft trend.

A projected 15%-20% growth by 2022 is substantial, and many larger companies are doing their part to get a cut of the profits. As long as they don't surpass the 750,000-gallon limit and aren't operated by a global producer, they qualify as "craft."

8. Women are impacting purchasing decisions.

Reaching consumers means marketers need to focus on selling to women. Most beverage companies are taking strides to make their products gender-neutral as women all over the world are making more purchase decisions. Women are earning a stable income, and they are using it to change the way businesses in every sector advertise their products. Johnnie Walker famously switched its striding man for a woman named Jane.

"Important conversations about gender continue to be at the forefront of culture, and we strongly believe there is no better time than now to introduce our Jane Walker icon and contribute to pioneering organizations that share our mission," said Stephanie Jacoby, vice president of Johnnie Walker, in an online statement.

9. Influencers are an essential aspect of marketing strategies.

Millennials are slowing their alcohol consumption, but they haven't disappeared entirely. The best way to reach them is by establishing an online presence and participating in influencer marketing. A research group found 18-35-year olds participated in influencer marketing. Some brands like Jameson, Absolut, and Chivas Regal already experienced success from employing macro and micro-influencers.

10. More people drink at home than out in bars.

Consuming beer, wine, and spirits at home rather than on-premise is growing everywhere. Dubbed "drinking in," having a beer at home was custom but enjoying a spirit was on-site. Now with online retailers making it more affordable to ship to your home or brick-and-mortar selling at competitive prices, many people are consuming alcohol at home.

Alcohol Industry Experts

Regardless of where you stand in the alcohol industry, consulting experts like Brindiamo Group are vital resources. Our team has been active in the market for decades, and our collective experience transcends multiple sectors. From sourcing to acquisition, you can count on us to guide you.

Horton Admin