Are you aware that your drink choices are ever-evolving and are directed by bars, pubs and restaurants keeping your finger on the pulse of the current drinks menu? Consumers continue to expect the brands they engage with to go the extra mile for them, meaning brands have to work harder to establish real connections with customers.
So, what should you watch out for in 2020?
Is vodka’s crown under threat?
There have been rumblings for some time that gin will eclipse vodka as the UK’s biggest spirits category. At the start of the new decade, the statistics show that this is likely to be the case.
According to Trending 2020, gin grew in value by 45.4% in 2019. Vodka, on the other hand, sunk in value by 3% and 6.8% in volume. If these growth rates continue, by June next year gin will overtake vodka. We are becoming more adventurous in our purchases. A staggering 402 new gin brands entered the market since May 2016, 367 of which are premium brands.
Popping the gin bubble
The increase of brands does make it difficult for drinkers to decide which brand to go for, resulting in products fighting for attention. Premium gins are now so numerous that there’s a risk of choice overload for customers, which will lead you to pick a familiar brand rather than continuing to be experimental. So what is next for gin? Has it reached its peak? Will it survive in today’s overcrowded market?
I have said it many times, I don’t get the popularity of gin – I’m a rum girl. Whilst gin steals the headlines, flavoured and spiced rums have also seen a double-digit growth. Although the rum market grew by just 1% in the past 12 months, there are signs that the category is evolving.
Did you know that spiced and flavoured rum represents 50% of total rum sales in the UK? In total, UK consumers bought 35 million bottles of rum. Venues should ensure they stock a wide range of premium and artisan brands, and add rum cocktails to their menus, alongside extensive mixers – just as gin has done. Drinkers are becoming more adventurous, and are willing to try new cocktails on nights out, which is one of the reasons that helped gin become so popular. Rum sales are expected to grow and will challenge gin as a top-selling spirit in 2020.
Adding sparkle and the finer things
Almost 9 out of 10 drinkers are likely to treat themselves to small indulgences in 2020. People might not be going to the pub for a pint a few times of week anymore, but when then do go, they want a premium experience. Outlets are adding premium lagers to the pumps, such as Amstel, which is one of the fastest-growing beers, and adding a bit of sparkle.
While wine sales are dropping, there are encouraging signs on the sparkling end. Over £1 billion was sent on sparkling wine in 2019, with 70% of these sales being Prosecco. The rising popularity of Prosecco has been recognised as propping up the wine category and has made it more affordable to pop a bottle when out and about. Whilst drinkers have decreased their wine consumption in the past few years, there is a greater interest in more expensive choices. More than half of wine consumers say they are willing to upgrade their choices when drinking out. 1 in 4 now opts for the second cheapest rather than the ‘house’ bottle.
Rising demand for low or no alcohol
More than 4 million people took part in Dry January in 2019, and even more, were expected for 2020. The appetite for this category is also driven by Millennials and Generation Z consumers, with recent data revealing that less than half of students claim to drink alcohol weekly, and 12% of them describing themselves as teetotal. This crucial group is where pub operators work hard to drive loyalty in an ever-crowded market, catering to their needs are essential.
Beer is currently leading this category, and according to some sources, it could make its way out of bottles and onto taps in your local. The newest entry to the market is Peroni Libera, bringing a true Italian style to the world of non-alcoholic beer.
What will you be drinking in 2020?
I’d love to know what your favourite drink is? Or, like so many others, have you been trying new drinks and mixers?