Market research provider Euromonitor International has revealed its Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2022, including some that will likely influence the liquor retail sector directly in Australia.
The highly anticipated annual report identified a range of consumer trends stemming from the pandemic and its related challenges, but also general technological and societal change. The trends are identified in the following areas: Backup Planners, Climate Changers, Digital Seniors, Financial Aficionados, The Great Life Refresh, The Metaverse Movement, Pursuit of Preloved, Rural Urbanites, Self-Love Seekers and The Socialisation Paradox.
And while all of these together will influence consumer behaviours worldwide, two trends in particular directly stand out for the liquor retail industry and are also noted as important by several leaders in the 2022 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum – Climate Changers and Self-Love Seekers.
The Climate Changers trend is one that Euromonitor International sees as building off the 35 per cent of global consumers who actively reduced their carbon emissions in 2021. It brings together trends associated with sustainable packaging, production and ingreidnets, all of which have been gaining traction worldwide, according to Maria Adel, Research Analyst at Euromonitor International Sydney.
“Globally, we have seen the ‘rise of the conscious consumer’ trend. In general, consumers are becoming more concerned with the environment and this, in turn, affects how they perceive products,” Adel explained.
An example of this comes from the Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer Survey in 2021, which revealed 65.8 per cent of consumers in the Asia Pacific region were worried about climate change, higher than the 65.1 per cent of global consumers who were worried.
“According to our survey, consumers perceived sustainable packaging to be closely linked to reducing waste and advancing a circular economy. The top three sustainable packaging features were recyclable, biodegradable and reusable,” Adel said.
“On the other side, COVID-19 made consumers even more attentive to their health and to what they consumed. This trend played in favour of organic and vegan alcoholic drinks, which saw an increase in their consumption across different regions, notably in the EU, North America and Australia.”
But its not just sustainable products that consumers are searching for – they’re also choosing more sustainable shops and venues to make their purchases in.
Adel continued: “Euromonitor International’s Commerce 2040 series, which outlines a vision for how consumers might live and shop in the future, predicts that retailers will continue to invest in the development of greener products and store formats, as this will be the key to remaining relevant and competitive.”
Within the liquor industry, Euromonitor International has seen several important strides towards sustainability in line with this Climate Changers trend.
For example, Adel said: “Wine drinkers have been consuming wine more consciously, showing higher awareness surrounding its origins and its production systems. This, in turn, drove demand for organic and vegan wines, especially in Australia.
“Euromonitor’s drinks claims, which tracks the number of SKUs sold online that have attributes directly relating to sustainability and health, showed that organic and natural were among the top four features in alcoholic drinks globally. While in Australia, organic alone was the first feature.”
There are several elements that make up the Self-Love Seekers trend. One way in which it is evident in the liquor industry is with the no and low alcohol movement.
Adel said this is because “consumers are increasingly seeking responsible intoxication, permissible indulgence and functional benefit from the ingredients they consume,” a movement which existed before the pandemic but has been accelerated during the ensuing societal and lifestyle shifts.
The no and low alcohol movement has already seen great growth in the last year, albeit from a low base, with “untapped potential” to come.
“In 2021, both the low and no beer segments recorded strong volume growth in Australia, led by leading brands such as Great Northern Super Crisp and XXXX Gold. We have also seen new product launches in the no-alcoholic beer segment. Euromonitor expects that low and no alcoholic beer will have the highest growth rates within the beer category over the forecast period,” Adel said.
“The next trend to watch is non-alcoholic spirits, still comparatively niche and in its infancy but definitely the most dynamic.”