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!
Global changes in consumer behavior, technology, economics and even environmental stewardship are helping to drive evolution and innovation in the beverage alcohol industry. IWSR Drinks Market Analysis’ annual Global Trends Report, released this week, examines developments and identifies opportunities around the world for the beer, wine, spirits and mixed drinks market. Among the key current and emerging trends identified by IWSR analysts’ on-the-ground research are:
- New entry-level brands are helping aspirational consumers in developing markets to discover unfamiliar beverage alcohol categories.
- In developed markets, premiumization and an attitude of “less but better” is driving consumers towards crafted products — often with a hyper local spin.
- More niche and localized flavors are starting to gain traction (for instance, spirits made with locally foraged botanicals).
- Increasingly niche and personalized experiences are helping curious consumers to connect with their favorite drink categories (e.g. monthly subscription clubs and experiences such as “meet the maker” events at craft distilleries and breweries).
- Wine education continues to spread in developing markets, especially throughout Asia.
Lifestyle and ethical choices
- The rise in consumer interest in wellness has fueled development of no- and low-alcohol products, and “better-for-you” beverages that are low-calorie, sugar-free, gluten-free, and that feature natural nutrients and healthy ingredients.
- Consumers are looking for ways to decrease their environmental impact on a micro level, such as adopting plant-based diets, reducing air travel, shunning plastic waste and consuming water and other natural resources more responsibly. Some consumers now expect drink brands to hold themselves to similar standards throughout the production chain.
- People are also gravitating to companies and brands that are more authentic in their support of charities or local communities.
- Personalized and interactive marketing campaigns are becoming key.
- Technological innovations, such as smart labels, are changing the way consumers interact with products, companies and brands.
Social experience and inclusivity
- Drinks tourism, pop-up events, festivals and interactive spaces are encouraging people to plan drinks-led experience.s
- In today’s restaurant scene, themed cocktails and unique food and drink pairings can be a core component of the dining experience and may even provide a route into novel cuisines.
Macro social and economic changes bring new participants into the drinks market, and as a result, products evolve to accommodate the newcomers’ needs and preferences. The IWSR’s wide-ranging examination of global trends also includes product and category research broken down by region and market, and insights into each category’s future outlook.
“We’re proud that the global drinks industry relies upon IWSR data and analytics to make informed decisions every day about their companies and brands, but equally important is discerning consumer habits and market forces that are fueling the industry and driving growth,” says Mark Meek, CEO of IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. “That is what makes our trends research so valuable and essential to understanding the global drinks business.”