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

ANALYSIS

Research in Focus - Cider/Perry: Adapts, Evolves & Grows

The cider/perry market has witnessed phenomenal developments in the last ten years, making it the World's fastest-growing alcoholic drinks category, in volume terms....

BLOG

Measuring up fake wine

Collecting wine is big business – and so is faking it. So, how do you tell your Chateau Lafite from your Chateau La Counterfeit?...

BLOG

Are you going to London Wine Week?

Here in London, the second Wine Week has kicked off to coincide with UK wine trade event London Wine Fair. ...

INTERVIEW

just a Moment With … Jens Bernardo Helmbaek, commercial manager at Valora Trade Beverages

This week, we speak to Jens Bernardo Helmbaek, commercial manager at Nordic wine & spirit distributor, and just-drinks subscriber, Valora Trade Beverages....

BLOG

All aboard the Aperol bus

Commuting in London is a drag. It’s overcrowded, sweaty and rarely goes to plan. In fact, it’s enough to turn a person to drink....

BLOG

Diageo's echo quotes

When it comes to market speculation, a company holds the prerogative to comment or not. Most times it is the latter, but we journalists are always grateful for any quote that we can get....

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?