Over the last 40 years, IWSR has built up the world’s largest database on the beverage alcohol market. It claims to understand the market, category and brand performances of products in 157 countries across the world using local market input. Occasionally, IWSR releases market reports, and occasionally we run those market reports because we find them interesting and insightful. Here’s one right now!
Convenience, experience, technology and mindful drinking are key driving factors in the constant evolution of how, where and what beverage alcohol consumers are drinking. The IWSR Global Trends Report 2018, released this week, explores the pivotal trends changing the landscape of the global alcohol market.
Online channels are revolutionizing the industry. E-commerce sales are rapidly gaining traction across the globe, creating a new frontier for beverage alcohol sales. A new tech-savvy generation of consumers are turning their back on traditional retail, opting for the convenience and simplicity of ordering online. The speed and ease of service provided by on-demand delivery platforms such as Drizly in the United States or Bevy in the United Kingdom is one of the fundamental drivers of online purchases. In addition, on-site sales at local producer-level and drive-through liquor stores are catering to the demand for more convenient purchase options.
Concerts, pop-up restaurants, food fairs and other event-based occasions are all contributing to the rise of the ‘new’ premise where experience sits at the heart of the occasion. With brand activations often tightly integrated into the activity, these non-traditional events and venues are challenging the long-held assumption of specific products for specific occasions. Product innovation and the blurring of category lines are both helping to further this trend.
Growing health consciousness, or what has been dubbed ‘mindful drinking’, is creating a swell of demand for low- or no-alcohol beverages, particularly among the new generation of consumers reaching legal drinking age. Lower-ABV variants of popular spirits brands are growing rapidly at the expense of traditional lines. The wellness trend has spurred a move away from artificial flavors to lighter and more natural ingredients.
The desire for low-alcohol drinks also lends itself well to the growing cannabis drinks trend. There is a growing industry for non-alcoholic cannabis drinks and CBD-infused alcoholic cocktails. Beer producers are looking to develop non-alcoholic beers containing CBD. This trend is most prominent in United States and Canada, but CBD cocktails can also be found in the United Kingdom. This looks likely to be one of the biggest disruptors the drink industry has ever seen.