As the summer approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, many drinks brand owners are lining up their seasonal variants. For the alcohol industry, botanical flavours look set to continue to be all the rage in the coming months.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, botanical and herb attributes were emerging as the dominant flavours in the wine and gin categories, largely propelled by Millennial consumers who typically seek out fresh, fruity or floral flavours in the craft sector. According to GlobalData’s 2019 Q4 consumer survey, nearly a third (31%) of UK Millennials found both botanical and floral flavourings in gin to be appealing.
Not only is this eight percentile points higher than the country’s average (23%), it’s also the second-highest pick – outdone only by berry flavourings (39%).
Recognising this trend, the non-alcoholic Ceder’s gin brand, which is distributed and marketed in the UK by Pernod Ricard, has released its first new flavour this month. Highlighting the natural fragrance of juniper, rose and hibiscus, Ceder’s Pink Rose, the brand’s first extension since its launch in 2018, combines floral and botanical elements to provide a “sensory fusion experience”. Moreover, its zero alcohol level will tap into the sizeable base of consumers that are moderating or avoiding alcohol, yet still desire to replicate the indulgent experience of a classic G&T at home.
Accolade Wines is also attempting to cash in on these ingredient trends with this month’s roll-out of Echo Falls Botanicals, also in the UK. The brand extension also has a relatively low abv at 5.5%.
Both launches tap into growing teetotalism trends, which will likely be more predominant during lockdown, as drinking consumption revolves around virtual happy hours and social occasions rather than typical, Friday night outings. As such, consumers may wish for a more ‘sophisticated’ drink, but not necessarily getting drunk.
Although social distancing measures are expected to be maintained for some time, the current digital landscape is providing alcohol brands with ample opportunities to promote their products and reach new consumers. This has been seen widely in the alcohol industry, with the rise of Google Hangout happy hours, Zoom cocktail meet-ups, Wine FaceTime sessions, and quarantinis all taking centre stage.
It will be interesting to see how these launches fair under the current circumstances. What is certain is that they’re positioned favourably to capitalise on high seasonal demand from a large Millennial base.