Blog: Andy MortonMead moves out of the dark ages as honey buzz blossoms

Andy Morton | 16 April 2014

A sign that the modern world's love of nostalgia is getting seriously out of hand appeared today with news that mead is the fastest growing category in the US alcoholic drinks market.

Admittedly, this bombshell came from the potentially partisan American Mead Makers Association.  But 130% growth last year, as the association flagged, is still impressive. As one mead maker said: “The last 300 years have been kind of rough for the business, but it's been picking up.” 

But that the dark ages' favourite flagon-filler is firmly back in fashion should be no surprise. Most mead, after all, is made using honey, and as the world's whisk(e)y producers have discovered over the past few years, consumers are very keen on that ingredient.

Strong growth for Brown-Forman's Jack Daniel's range has been built on its Tennessee Honey variant, while Diageo last month launched a honey-flavoured version of its J&B Scotch brand. 

Ads and packaging across the spirits categories are increasingly emblazoned with buzzing bees and dripping honeycombs as marketers make the most of a sweetener that manages to be both authentically sweet and wholly natural. 

Was it ever thus?

According to the American Mead Makers Association, evidence of honey in fermented beverages dates back more than 9,000 years. Which goes to show that, underneath all the marketing and branding, consumer tastes never really change. 

Sectors: Beer & cider, Wine

NEWS

UK industry hits alcohol unit pledge ahead of schedule

The UK alcoholic drinks industry has delivered on an alcohol-unit reduction pledge two years early, according to a new report. ...

BLOG

Putin's Coca-Cola dig misses the mark

The Coca-Cola Co has had its fair share of critics this year, from health campaigners to investor David Winters, who this week called for CEO Muhtar Kent to be replaced....

BLOG

Season of goodwill? Not if you're the UK health lobby

The UK health lobby is always very vocal on alcohol at this time of year, predictably so, and this year is no different. ...

MANAGEMENT BRIEFING

just the Ten - Editor's Viewpoints of 2014

With the end of the year looming, just-drinks is running a series of 'Top Tens of the Year' in the run-up to Christmas. Here are the ten most read comment pieces by just-drinks' editor, Olly Wehring, ...

BLOG

Carlsberg builds new life from Copenhagen brewery

“Ah, yes, you've hit upon a very sensitive area,” says Thomas, my guide at the Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen last Friday....

BLOG

Scotch whisky firms learn the value of leftovers

Experimentation has long been a watchword in the Scotch whisky industry. It is what has given consumers the huge range of ageing options, from refill hogsheads to virgin oak to Sherry butts....

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?