Educated Millenials – Those younger drinkers of today. They are more engaged and more educated consumers. Their interest in the story and the background lead them to be more adventurous but less loyal customers. Nicki Drinkwater from Coca-Cola Amatil boils it down to the “demand for knowledge”- a demand that, increasingly, establishments are feeling a pressure to meet.
Provenance and transparent labelling – Put this one down to those millenials. The trend of wanting to know exactly what is being consumed, and where it’s come from, has led to more honest labels with a greater focus on product heritage. Nicki says the days of busy labels are gone, as it becomes “harder to pull the wool over savvy drinker’s eyes”.
Pisco – the South American favourite is gaining ground here in Australia, particularly in the form of the classic Pisco Sour.
Pre-bottled cocktails – They might not sound sexy, but pre-made cocktails might be the way of the future. The benefits are clear; greater service speed and a more consistent product, all whilst freeing up staff to engage customers on a deeper level. Establishments such as London’s 69 Colebrook Row and the White Lyan have already jumped on board. This trend will help enable those with a mind to providing a more all-encompassing experience.
Artisan and craft – The funky and the individual has spread well beyond beer. Customers are expecting craft spirits in their mixers and their cocktails. New distilleries and wider distribution routes are all factors contributing to this trend, meaning more products can reach more places. Expect craft American whiskey to grow, accompanied by premium tequila, premium gin and mezcal.
Spiced and flavoured – Who doesn’t love a flavour hit? The continuing popularity of honey-flavoured and cinnamon-flavoured whiskeys has opened the door for more inspired flavour combinations. From the initial success of Bundaberg Mutiny spiced rum, to the ongoing success of premium gin, it’s not hard to see why Diageo innovation manager Joe Spence says that “spiced drinks are a dream combination for drinks innovators” and a must behind any bar.
Boilermakers – Here is a concept that has been butchered for too long and might finally see fulfilment in 2015. The growth in craft beers has opened up innumerable boilermaker possibilities, and an increasing number of bars, such as Whisky & Alement, The Whisky Room at the Clock Hotel, Kodiak Club, Lily Blacks, etc, have boilermaker menus. Traditionally beers have been paired with whisky, but there’s a lot of fun to be had matching beer with rum and tequila too.