Drizly outlines top trends for adult beverages in 2021

29 Jan 2021

The pandemic has noticeably altered the consumption habits of people worldwide with alcoholic beverages being a particular category where there has been significant change. According to the International Food Information Council (IFIC), 22% of consumers drank more alcohol while approximately the same number reduced their intake. Unsurprisingly, this evolution in imbibing preferences has affected the trends that will define the alcohol category in 2021.

Alcohol e-commerce platform, Drizly, anticipates that several trends will define the upcoming year: more craft seltzer, an increase in the popularity of Mexican sprirts, a proliferation of ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails and the appearance of New Flavored Malt beverages like hard kombucha, Forbes reported. At the same time, the alcohol purveyor expects trends from 2020, such as at-home cocktail making to persist through 2021.

Drizly outlines top trends for adult beverages in 2021

As hard seltzer remains popular, brands are looking for new ways to stand out and so have begun to move into artisanal flavors and elevated ingredients. Drizly expects the RTD beverage to remain popular this year but is also anticipating that other RTD cocktails, ranging from mojitos to hard lemonade will begin challenging the category for market share.

Consumers will also begin weighing their decision on which drinks to reach for based on an evaluation of criteria, including a brand’s ownership and values as well as the health profile of individual beverages. Drizly noted that healthy alternatives will become particularly popular for consumers that are both looking for alternative options that are low-alcohol as well as those that are simply interested in reducing their overall sugar and calorie intake.

Interestingly, zero alcohol options were only briefly mentioned in Drizly’s trend list despite the growing demand for these alternatives. The popularity of non-alcoholic beverages is such that Euromonitor said last summer that in addition to food, non-alcoholic beverages were the only other category projected to have positive growth during the year.

But non-alcoholic beverages are not the only opportunity for manufacturers to specialize and attract clientele. Premiumization will become even more important in the coming months as value brands gain the attention of consumers faced with economic uncertainty. The IFIC found that in 2021, 28% of people were worried about being able to afford enough food, which should alert manufacturers to the future importance of brands that offer an attractive price point in addition to a good product.

Covid-19 had far reaching consequences on consumers’ lives, with the alcohol industry feeling the significance of these impacts. From foodservice and taproom closures to the sky high popularity of wine and spirits as compared to other options, the next year will require manufacturers to be flexible in how they continue to cater to consumers that are looking to return to some measure of normalcy following a tumultuous year.

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