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Alcohol brands must do battle over generational trends and sustainability uncertainties – GlobalData comment

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Alcoholic drinks brands must balance consumers' established preferences with market norms, a growing openness to innovation and products that cross traditional category or flavour lines.

Creative and edgy innovation works best when retaining a connection to the familiar, allowing consumers to experiment and try new things, but with a degree of confidence.

GlobalData's latest report, 'Top Trends in Alcoholic Drinks', notes that while traditional flavours in alcohol hold sway over consumers' choices in a top-line sense, a different picture emerges when reviewing flavour choices by generation and gender. Gen Z consumers, who are still relatively 'new' drinkers, are not bound by traditional flavours - with 31% opting for new, on-trend options and 30% choosing flavours that are widely-considered to be unusual.

"Gen Z consumers are influenced by the newness and trendiness of flavours, as promoted through social media, and by visual as well as flavour aspects," says GlobalData's principal consumer insight analyst, Richard Parker. "This generational landscape creates a fertile territory for products such as hybrid beverages, which marry familiar categories in new and exciting ways - for example, 'vodquila' or 'rumquila'.

"Hybrids can introduce interesting flavour notes and unique premium narratives through the use of storage and ageing techniques from other categories, such as beer stored in wine or spirit barrels, or taking flavours from food products.

Parker adds: "Despite the opportunities for innovation and demographic targeting still to be had in such a mature market, alcohol brands face some growing macro-level issues. Climate change, and the unpredictable effects this is having on the supply chain, is undermining regular and sustainable approaches to production and consumption. This will force change in available products.

"Climate change affecting barley yields could lead to beer shortages and rising prices of barley (and beer) - subsequently resulting in a fall in global consumption. The risk of falling supply and significantly boosted prices means that brands will need to give consumers strong reasons to continue to purchase their products as premium becomes luxury and standard products effectively premium in price."

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Expert Analysis

Top Trends in Alcoholic Drinks

Top Trends in Alcoholic Drinks

Alcohol as a sector is highly mature, with stable categories, but a vast choice of individual products. This maturity, along with the relative conservatism in the category, makes innovation difficult ...

VIEW REPORT

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