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Laura Foster

Plugged in, amped up - music festivals are the perfect stage for brand creativity - Consumer Trends

10 September 2019 | Laura Foster

As the summer in the UK rumbles to a close and autumn takes over, I’m packing up my festival kit once more. Away goes the tent and the thankfully-unused wellington boots, unlikely to be unearthed again until the weather warms up again next year. ... read more

Why we all need to lift our heads out of our drinks - Consumer Trends

11 July 2019 | Laura Foster

It can be very easy for those working in the drinks industry to forever be in search of the new. We're all guilty of it - marketers, tastemakers, even journalists. What can result is a churn of trends and a lot of white noise that obscures the bigger picture stories of what consumers are actually enjoying, both in the on-premise and at home. ... read more

The gaping opportunity for no-alcohol in the on-premise - Consumer Trends

14 June 2019 | Laura Foster

The UK has found itself divided recently, and not just over the thorny issue of Brexit. Last month, bar owner Sam Espensen made headlines for complaining about customers ordering free tap water in her venue.... read more

Why gaming is the next frontier for drinks marketing - Consumer Trends

15 May 2019 | Laura Foster

When I was ten, I begged my parents to allow me to use my Christmas money to buy a Sega Megadrive. This was a computer console at the height of gaming sophistication at the time, with its trusty blue hedgehog, Sonic, leading a whole band of children and adults on an endless quest to bag as many gold coins as possible, without falling to their deaths. Computer games were something that occupied a number of my childhood years, before I got interested in music (Oasis were much better than Blur!), make-up and boys. It appears, however, that for many people gaming isn't something that they grow out of, but rather continue throughout their lives.... read more

Why drinks companies should focus on farming to win the consumer's love - Consumer Trends

9 April 2019 | Laura Foster

Have you given much thought to the environmental and health impact of the growing of your raw materials? For decades now, the efficiency of ingredient - what gives maximum yield, which is most disease- or frost-resistant - has taken precedence over everything else. ... read more

How to ride the Generation Z wave in the on-premise - Consumer Trends

12 March 2019 | Laura Foster

Last month, I took a look at the growing interest among consumers for experiences.  A recent report in the UK from Red Brick Road and Opinium, provided further interesting new insights into this trend. The purpose of the report, entitled 'The Last Round? How to engage the next generation of Mindful Drinkers', was to locate sales opportunities in the on-premise channel for drinks brand owners, against a background of abstinence: Don't forget that, according to studies, around a quarter of Generation Z consumers - aged between 18 and 30 - are teetotal.... read more

Why consumers are demanding more experiential marketing activations - Consumer Trends

17 January 2019 | Laura Foster

Flicking through a magazine over the festive break, I happened across an article that was simultaneously fascinating and depressing. Instagram-worthy museums, where people go to take selfies in front of eye-popping exhibits, or whilst floating in ball pools, are apparently taking off in America. What this highlights is how consumers want to place themselves in the centre of the story whilst having fun.... read more

Why gender-targeted products and marketing failed in 2018 - Consumer Trends

20 November 2018 | Laura Foster

As 2018 rolls to a close and we survey the wreckage of what has certainly been an 'interesting' year, one annoying trend jumps out at me; the continued singling-out and patronisation of women by the drinks industry. ... read more

Consumer demand for environmental efforts reaches fever pitch - Consumer Trends

16 October 2018 | Laura Foster

My initial thoughts for my latest Consumer Trends consideration for just-drinks were to write about how drinks companies can make alcohol more fun, thereby breaking down barriers with consumers. Last week's report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, however, made me feel that such frivolity would be somewhat remiss.... read more

Does the consumer really care about your cocktail competition? - Consumer Trends

20 September 2018 | Laura Foster

It's only three weeks until the global final of Diageo's 'World Class' event rolls into Berlin. The pending circus has given me cause to contemplate the nature of these global cocktail competitions, specifically from the viewpoint of the consumer. Over the last decade, the likes of Diageo and Bacardi have ploughed vast amounts of their marketing budgets into these bartender-focused cocktail competitions. But, to what gain?... read more

How to pitch alcohol-free adult soft drinks to consumers - Consumer Trends

2 August 2018 | Laura Foster

In her latest consumer trends column, Laura Foster looks at the rise of non-alcoholic and adult soft drinks. The key to their success, she says, is in the way they are communicated to consumers. ... read more

Why the on-premise is failing to tempt consumers away from classic cocktails - Consumer Trends

4 June 2018 | Laura Foster

Anyone working in the on-premise channel will, no doubt, be aware that Diageo's Reserve World Class cocktail competition is rumbling slowly towards the final, in Berlin later this summer. National heats are taking place around the world, with competitors jumping through numerous bibulous hoops to win a golden ticket.... read more

How Anheuser-Busch InBev and Diageo are revolutionising drinks marketing - Consumer Trends

4 April 2018 | Laura Foster

There was a time, not so long ago, when occasion-based drinks marketing meant advertising your lager brand in an ad during a World Cup football match. Not anymore - things have become a lot more complicated since then.... read more

Why Minimum Unit Pricing could prove a win for both consumers and the drinks industry - Analysis

31 January 2018 | Laura Foster

Towards the end of last year, the UK Supreme Court ruled that Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) could proceed in Scotland. The decision has prompted many questions: Is this the right approach to tackle the issue of irresponsible drinking? Are moderate drinkers being punished for the actions of a few? Indeed, is the Scottish Government using a sledgehammer to crack a nut? Laura Foster investigates.... read more

Why the time to educate consumers may finally have arrived - Consumer Trends

9 November 2017 | Laura Foster

After years of trying - and failing - are the drinks industry's attempts to educate consumers finally falling on open ears? On-premise and spirits commentator Laura Foster investigates.... read more