Leading data and analytics company GlobalData has identified three new consumer trend as the scale and impact of the global health crisis changes consumer consumption habits and sentiments towards fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands, which is inevitably influencing the alcoholic beverage industry.

New Socialising’, ‘New Initiatives’ and ‘More Health’ are trends emerging in the alcoholic beverage space as the COVID-19 pandemic alters consumers’ social lives, their view of brands, and their awareness of health and wellbeing.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) Case Study: Alcoholic Beverage Innovation’, looks at these three emerging trends.

New Socialising has emerged as the closure of pubs and bars has seen an increase in home consumption. GlobalData says it expects the trend of reduced visits to venues to continue as consumer concerns about the disease continue.

Mitsue Konishi, Senior Innovation Analyst at GlobalData, said: “As more people avoid bars and clubs, alcoholic beverage manufacturers need to consider consumers’ ‘New Socialising’ occasions such as home drinking in product development.

“One key consideration will be catering to premium and budget-friendly alcoholic innovations to allow consumers to capture the bar-quality drinking experience at home. In particular, flavoured alcoholic beverages such as ready-to-drink cocktails are already growing, seeing 12 per cent increase in volume sales globally compared with 2018 and 2019.

“Premiumisation in this category is likely to see opportunity here.”

The report also notes the rising concerns among consumers towards financial constraints. Young age groups (e.g. 25-34) are price sensitive, and GlobalData’s latest survey shows 13 per cent of millennials globally have stopped buying alcoholic drinks because it is beyond their shopping budget, while 20 per cent say they are buying these products at the lower end of the price range.

New Initiatives is another significant trend emerging amid the pandemic as, for example, many alcoholic drink manufacturers have been supplying their alcohol ingredients to produce sanitisers.

Konishi added: “These initiatives have been recognised by consumers, which are actively seeking news about initiatives adopted by brands. These activities will influence their purchase decisions in future.

“A sizeable number of consumers are expecting to see initiatives taken by brands during the pandemic, as well as after the pandemic, while 37 per cent of consumers are specifically seeking brands’ sustainability initiatives.

“Therefore, proactively taking new initiatives is likely to become a key marketing activity for brands.”

The More Health trend was on the increase before COVID-19 and will be one that alcoholic drink manufacturers cannot ignore. The global health crisis has raised consumers’ concerns about their health – physically and mentally. ‘Better-for-you’ has been a key alcohol drink innovation trend for a few years, but this aspect will become more important than ever among consumers.

Konishi said: “Young age groups are concerned about their health more than older groups, and these concerns are reflected in their shopping choices. Alcoholic beverages with positive health attributes such as low calorie and sugar content will appeal to these health-conscious consumers. Hard seltzers are trending, as they have these healthier attributes which help to position them as an aspirational drink.

“Furthermore, young consumers also are highly aware of mental wellbeing. For those, alcohol-free alternatives have potential as an aspirational beverage but without the adverse impacts of alcohol. Thus, low or no alcohol alternatives are likely to see even further growth this year.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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