This year’s London Cocktail Week kicked off for me at The Morning Advertiser’s Future Trends: Spirits Summit, where the focus lay very much on the future of the category and its increasing importance to on-trade retailers, writes Noora Rautiainen.
Presentations and content centred on trends (the clue is in the name) – both current and predictions for the future – with the collective recognition that spirits are currently outperforming all other alcohol categories. In fact, data presented by CGA Strategy revealed that 43% of consumers drink spirits out of the home, making it the second most consumed category (wine 48% beer 36%).
According to the various industry experts speaking throughout the day, Gin, Rum and Tequila continue to grow, with Vodka also making a comeback. At the other end of the spectrum, the volume performance for whisk(e)y is in decline, yet, interestingly premium whisk(e)y is still indicating growth.
Key future spirits trends covered include:
- Premiumisation – Consumers are more educated now than ever before, spending more on ‘premium serves’. In fact, consumers have spent £450m on spirits in the last year and now 1 in 5 serves in the on-trade are premium
- Technology – eat and tweet – how many people do we know who don’t Instagram, tweet, snapchat, Facebook their meals or drinks when they are out?
- The healthy era – is making headway in the spirits industry too with ‘skinny’ low calorie options to the fore, including skinny Prosecco (68 calories a glass) slim line tonics and skinny cocktails
- Authenticity and craftsmanship – younger consumers are constantly on the search for new, experimental drinks (eg locally sourced ingredients, food pairing, no waste, foraging)
- Personalisation – drinkers are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about spirit offerings and are keen on personalising their drink, something that savvy operators can capitalise on.
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