As demographic shifts, evolving occasions and consumers’ perceptions reshape the drinking ritual, innovation cycles accelerate while embracing once seemingly radical propositions. What are the key themes, drivers and pioneering examples paving the way for the alcoholic drinks industry’s future?
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From moderation initiatives to brief abstinence from alcohol, and from dry bars to a flurry of launches within nascent adult non-alcoholic beverages, mindful drinking is rapidly altering the entire alcoholic drinks landscape.
While natural credentials and positioning remain key drivers, artificially-tailored alternatives, synthetic concoctions or the molecular decomposition and recreation of famed vintages formulate an anti-trend that has the potential to revolutionise the industry.
Alcohol has always been a lifestyle industry, but in the era of social media proliferation appearances and design cues are ever more important. Convenience, facilitating a variety of drinking occasions, sustainability and environmental credentials will only gain further momentum.
While the alcohol industry has historically been conservative and hesitant to embrace radical technological advances, there are initial signs of a shift. Open source technologies allowing for higher traceability, sensory experimentation beyond the confines of flavour, crowdsourced initiatives and the use of AI will formulate the industry’s future.
From non-psychoactive infusions to replacing alcohol with THC, and from utilising the alcohol industry’s rich lexicon to finding parallels and commonalities in positioning and the emergent premiumisation narratives, cannabis does not have to be an antagonist.
While authenticity and heritage retain their importance, imaginative twists on established formulas and straddling the line between categories will provide fresh opportunities