Blog: Mead 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.
The European Union has approved Anheuser-Busch InBev's US$107bn takeover of SABMiller. ...
Greetings from Zurich. Here as a guest of Heineken's Amstel brand, I'm due to sit down later today with the group's senior global director for international brands, Walter Drenth....
Drinks companies spend a lot of money on trying to predict trends. At last night's Worshipful Company of Distillers City debate, any strategists in the audience got a bit of forecasting for free....
I'll admit to being partial to an Aperol Spritz now and again, more usually in the summer months, sitting outside, shades on, slowly turning more golden/rusty....
Jim Cramer, the excitable host of stock-picker programme Mad Money on CNBC, turned his attention on US brewers last week, attempting to forecast which has the most potential for investors....
- The category today - Scotch Whisky I
- Protein interest offers drinks opportunities - NPD
- Boom time for soft drinks in West Europe?
- Patron's lesson for the broader spirits sector
- Today's Market Trends - Scotch Whisky II
- Analysts clash over AB InBev SAB Brexit impact
- Pernod switches Travel Retail Europe op's director
- AB InBev unveils Stella Artois three-packs
- Rum "yet to maximise" GTR potential - Bacardi
- Leelex to open Portobello Road gin distillery
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global travel retail insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global RTD insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Keurig Green Mountain in Hot Drinks (World)
- Global non-Scotch whiskies insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends