Alcoholic drink trends: hybrid products and drinking in moderation

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hybrid beverage products using 'radical barrel ageing amalgamations' and expanded low/non-alcohol beer options are powering the global alcoholic drinks through the short to medium term. ©GettyImages/master1305
Hybrid beverage products using 'radical barrel ageing amalgamations' and expanded low/non-alcohol beer options are powering the global alcoholic drinks through the short to medium term. ©GettyImages/master1305

Related tags: Alcoholic beverage

The widening spectrum of low- and no-alcohol options and smaller packs and serving sizes are finding relevance in mature markets, according to Euromonitor.

According to the market research firm, non/low-alcohol beverages, particularly beer and spirits, are seeing dynamic growth not only in traditional non-imbibing regions like the Middle East, but also in mature markets including Western Europe and the US, driven by a growing health-conscious population and higher-quality product releases.

"Production advances allowing for more sophisticated and balanced products than first generation ‘de-alcoholized’ offerings, and synthetic prototypes focusing on compounds minimizing alcohol toxicity while claiming functional benefits, will all radically disrupt established positioning, occasions, and legislative developments,”​ Euromonitor senior alcohol drinks analyst Spiros Malandrakis said.

Last month, for example, Guinness released a ‘full-flavor, non-alcoholic’ lager​ in its home market of Ireland that promises to drink like other alcoholic beers in its portfolio.

“From moderation initiatives to breaking the taboo of teetotalism, the trend will gather further momentum, reach critical mass and enter the realms of a paradigm shift,”​ Malandrakis said.

Cannabis as a substitute

The rise of cannabis as a substitute to alcohol will have a hand in the growing consumer interest in no/low-alcohol beverage options, according to Malandrakis.

“As legalization initiatives gather further traction and alcohol manufacturers hesitantly embrace the rising green tide through ambitious R&D and still embryonic M&A activity, cannabis will increasingly monopolize the spotlight,”​ he said.

Cross-category hybrid products will be a key source of innovation with the emergence of cannabis beverages at the forefront led by “enthusiastic micro producers willing to take the inevitable risks and pave the way for bolder hybrid products​.”

Alcohol-free products highlighting the non-psychoactive cannabis flavor sophistication will be the first wave of innovation in the cannabis beverage space, Malandrakis added.

In Canada, for example, non-alcoholic brewer and distiller Province Brands is on track to create a 'marijuana-powered' beer​.

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1 comment

Growing interest in craft spirits

Posted by Jamie Wheat,

There is a different blend of drinks now on the market, and I don't even know if they can be classed as cocktails? Craft spirits are continuing to grow and grow across all sectors, as with things like the non-alcoholic gin alternative Seedlip, blending of typically alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic is something we can expect to see more and more. As well as this, there are some fascinating gins our there, and I can imagine the growing popularity of rum will start going down the same route. I have started off several new drinks distilleries (not all successful), but I have a good working relationship with a company called Distill Ventures who invest on behalf of Diego in products they believe to have huge potential. Worth checking out the company as they are great at identifying new alcohol trends and helping start-up distilleries realise their potential.

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