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

BLOG

Iron Maiden man not so super with his Trooper

Heavy metal legend Bruce Dickinson - lead singer of the band Iron Maiden, for the unitiated - is clearly a man not afraid to get his hands dirty. ...

NEWS

Product Launch - AUS: Abro's Rekorderlig Pomegranate Cider

Swedish cider maker Abro has launched a pomegranate extension of its Rekorderlig cider brand in Australia. ...

BLOG

Homebrewer's whirl with Vienna IPA pays off

The homebrewing revival continues in the UK - and evidence has come that even the supermarket chains are taking it semi-seriously. ...

ANALYSIS

Analysis - Allegro: The shape of things to come at Pernod Ricard?

When a company announces a cost-savings programme, you can guarantee it will get its own headline. When the programme is given a name by the company, the headline gets that little bit louder. But when...

BLOG

Press pack prefer to probe Pernod Ricard in private

Does Pernod Ricard have something to hide? In a press conference after the release of full-year results today, only a quarter of the 100 minutes were given over to questions from journalists....

BLOG

The just-drinks Weekly Round-Up

Here's a round-up of the top stories on just-drinks last week, featuring Carlsberg, Heineken, Coca-Cola Amatil, California's winelands and Cognac....

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?