Euromonitor International's research on the global alcoholic drinks industry has identified key trends shaping the consumption, sales and marketing of alcoholic drinks.
Trend 1: Hometainment and rise of the internet of drinks
The first trend is centered on entertainment in the home and technology. Interesting technological advancements will radicalise drinking rituals at home while streamlining the ontrade experience. From holistic ecosystems providing infinite customisation and personalisation options in mixing, purchasing and sharing to accessible home-brewing devices and from apps seamlessly bridging the on- and off-trades to initiatives focusing on nano-blending, preserving and reviewing, “beer goggles” are turning into virtual reality headsets.
Such developments will inevitably have a binary effect; on the one hand, they will be disruptive towards established consumption habits, while on the other they will prove hugely accommodative for novel concepts around positioning and occasions beyond traditionalist norms.
Trend 2: Cannabis cocktail
With medicinal or recreational access now a reality for the majority of US states, a national legalisation initiative planned for Canada in 2018 and a number of European countries contemplating more progressive policies, the rising green tide can no longer be ignored or reversed. Will the much-feared substitution effect materialise?
Competition on labour, water supplies, land values and tourism revenues are issues already impacting the supply and production sides of both industries but it is in the retail space and consumption patterns where cannabis disruption can prove seismic.
Appellations and terroir, “cannoisseurs” and cannabis pairings - the embryonic marijuana industry is already appropriating alcohol’s semiotics. Hybrid products could well be the way to harness the potential of both.
Trend 3: Marketing breaking taboos
Strong fascination with the Millennial generation and the inherently patronising tone of gender-based targeting will give way to a more inclusive approach, a wider spectrum of initiatives focusing on a cross-section of age demographics and a re-discovery of Baby Boomers - after all they were the primary flagbearers of the political earthquakes of 2016 and have hence reasserted their status.
However, this will also be the year that brands are taking a stand. Environmental, LGBT, equality, racism and inclusivity - politicised messages addressing all these issues will become the key in engaging gatekeepers and a vital vehicle for overcoming political volatility and corporate distrust.
Our 2017 report "Alcoholic Drinks Global Industry Overview" includes more valuable insights on the alcoholic drinks industry including a global outlook, leading brands and companies and market snapshots.