Booze Without Alcohol, Coffee Without Beans, Whisky Without Ageing: Next-Gen Synthetic Beverages

July 2020

A new crop of synthetic beverages is seeking to disrupt many traditional drinks categories. This includes synthetic alcoholic substitutes aimed at mindful drinking occasions, sustainable products aimed at winning over green consumers, and even lab-aged whiskies trying to bring down the price point of luxury spirits. Before they can go mainstream, though, they must overcome numerous challenges, including regulatory hurdles and the growing consumer preference for natural products.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Seeking to follow in the footsteps of plant-based meat, a new crop of synthetic beverages seek to offer highly non-traditional versions of existing beverage categories. This can be done for a variety of reasons, but most commonly these beverages are aimed at sustainability, alcohol replacement or expanding the addressable market for luxury-orientated categories. In the short term, these beverages will have little effect on the drinks industry but in the longer term they could develop into significant disruptors.

Challenges for these beverages are numerous. Beyond the obvious technical hurdles that need to be addressed, a consumer desire for natural products and the likelihood of close regulatory scrutiny will be major stumbling blocks that will need to be overcome. Because of the threat synthetic products pose to traditional categories, fierce pushback should be expected once they start to carve out significant footholds.

Key findings
Synthetic beverages are made with a variety of purposes in mind
Plant-based meat is the guiding light for many synthetic beverages
The consumer desire for natural is a serious but surmountable hurdle
Younger generations are less concerned about “unnatural” foods
Vodka from the air and the sustainability of spirits production
Coffee without the coffee plant
Alcarelle: an existential threat to the alcoholic drinks industry?
Euphorics: an alternative path to alcohol substitution
How large is the alcohol substitution market?
Turning years into hours: artificially ageing whiskey
Many premium categories will be protected by their stories
Regulatory pushback to defend the status quo is inevitable
COVID-19 will slow the development of these beverages but not stop it
Conclusions: the future of synthetic beverages

Hot Drinks

This is the aggregation of Coffee, Tea, and Other Hot Drinks.

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