Alcohol as a sector is highly mature, with stable categories, but vast choice of individual products. This maturity and relative conservatism in category (and related taste) terms makes creative innovation difficult as it breeds a certain amount of resistance from consumers. At the same time, changing day-to-day realities of fast-paced, time-poor lifestyles, and a key focus on health and wellness, is making alcohol less and less convenient or desirable as a regular feature of consumers' behavior.
A tension exists in alcoholic drinks between consumers’ established preferences and market norms, and openness to innovation and products that cross traditional category or flavor lines. Creative and edgy innovation works best when it retains a connection to the familiar, allowing consumers to experiment and try new things, but with a degree of confidence.
- Health is becoming a major influencer on alcohol-related decision-making. As revealed by the Q3 2018 global consumer survey, 26% of alcohol consumers worldwide report that how an alcoholic beverage affects their health and wellbeing always influences their choice of product.
- 44% of consumers see “low in sugar” as meaning healthy. This environment is starting to make things difficult for alcohol-makers, due to the intrinsic role sugar plays in many products, for example in the fermentation process and flavoring of beers and cider. It also puts pressure on producers of pre-mixed drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, as these are often rich in sugar or artificial sweeteners.
- Ethical and sustainable alcohol experiences must have substance and “pass the taste test”. While the modern alcohol market has become shaped by consideration for the Millennial and neighboring generations’ quest for originality, authenticity, and craft kudos, products must deliver on the actual consumption experience.
- Craft has become mainstream. These circumstances create opportunities for a more sophisticated degree of craft development based on the need to appeal to consumers no longer satisfied with “just” craft level products.
Reasons to Buy
- Identify the reasons underpinning consumers' inclination to purchase specific alcoholic drinks.
- Gain insight into the key consumer trends that are most likely to drive innovation.
- Put innovative products into context by connecting them to specific consumer trends and preferences.
Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Consumer trends: what behaviors are influencing demand for alcoholic beverages
- Innovation trends: how brands are responding to evolving consumer needs
- Better-for-you alcohol
- Ethical and sustainable alcohol
- Extreme craft
- Hybrid beverages
- Looking Ahead: future innovation opportunities in alcoholic beverages
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- Stroud Brewery
- Se7en Brothers Brewery
- Broadland Wineries
- Aegir Brewers & Distillers
- Old Yale Brewing
- Highland Brewing
- Marks & Spencer
- Northern Monk