Here at Big Cat, we’ve specialised in marketing communications for hospitality businesses for the last twenty years. In this blog post Anthony takes a look at six of the biggest drinks trends to look out for this spring, from Healthification to Botanicals to CBD!
Make Mine a Mocktail
Millennials are having a big impact on trends at the moment, including our eating and drinking habits. With younger people now focussing on their health and wellbeing, they are reducing their alcohol consumption and opting for a post gym protein shake instead. In fact, some millennials are even going as far as cutting alcohol out completely so with this in mind, many drink companies are launching alcohol-free products to keep up with increasing demand. It isn’t only beer and wine companies that are jumping on the bandwagon, alcohol-free spirits are now a thing.
Healthification is a movement which has seen not only a reduction in the amount of alcohol people are consuming, but also a reduction in the consumption of fizzy, sugary drinks and the rise of fruit and vegetable based shots, providing a quick dose of goodness to boost the wellbeing of concerned consumers. Increasing concerns around wellness has resulted in consumers demanding more transparency in what goes into products and evidence of authenticity, which has caused a trend of more natural and botanical ingredients and flavourings being used.
CBD Infused Drinks
CBD is already regularly used in most consumer products, from skincare to coffee and cocktails, and since being legalised in the UK, it is only growing in popularity. Consumers are crediting CBD with relieving anxiety and pain and this has increased the demand for more day-to-day products with the ingredient. Mental health is becoming more widely talked about and as a result of this, CBD has shot to the forefront of the media as a potential cure. Although no official research has supported this, it is definitely something that is spiking a trend in consumer demand, so we can expect to see a lot more CBD soft drinks throughout 2020.
“Just a grande, iced, sugar-free, vanilla latte with soy milk, please.” You’ve all heard it and eye-rolled in the Starbucks queue, but jokes aside, plant-based drinks and dairy alternatives are becoming increasingly popular. With veganism and “plant-based” diets on the rise, it is unsurprising that companies are creating more and more plant-based options. It appears that as people are made more aware of the sustainability and ethics of the food and drinks they consume, they are adopting more of a plant-based diet, whether that means completely vegan, vegetarian or even just flexitarian. Marks & Spencer and Spar have both announced that all their own-brand wines will become vegan within the next two years, which will surely set the expectation for other brands to follow suit.
It isn’t all doom and gloom for the alcohol industry, and among the health conscious millennials, there are still consumers who enjoy popping to a bar on Friday nights and indulging in a few drinks. One spirit in particular seems to have an imperishable reputation. Pink gin was the drink of 2019, and the spirit’s popularity is only expected to grow in 2020. There are now more than 300 spirit distilleries across the UK which has more than doubled since 2015 and is set to continue. With the continuing innovation from gin distilleries, the introduction of ‘posh’ tonic water brands and flavoured gins has increased variety in the market and made it more popular and desirable.
The latest trend set to hit the UK this year is fizzy water with alcohol in it, otherwise known as hard seltzer. Appealing to the healthification and wellness trend as a fruit-flavoured alcoholic drink of around just 100 calories, it’s easy to see why the drink went down incredibly well in the US in 2019 and why there is definitely a market for it in the UK. Although they look like innocent fruit-flavoured sparkling waters, hard seltzers are actually as alcoholic as a lot of popular beers but significantly less calorific. This makes them the perfect choice for health conscious consumers still looking to enjoy a stiff drink.