- Top trend is ‘Luxury Libations’, as consumers seek high-quality drinking experiences. This looks set to drive another wave of premiumisation across spirits categories, including RTD and pre-mixed offerings. In fact, 50% of bartenders worldwide reported their customers are drinking more premium beverages as many looks for alternatives to drinking beer. In the past people have turned first to hard seltzers but now consumers are opting for RTDs made with real spirits. There’s a focus on natural and sophisticatedly flavoured RTD options that we’re seeing drive desire for premium prepared cocktails with natural and refreshing flavours. As a result, options such as BACARDÍ® rum canned cocktails and BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin & Tonics are set to dominate consumers’ choices.
- ‘Digital drinking’ is also set to be a trend, as consumers embrace technology to create cocktails at home. To help support the popularity of the home-premise and desire for experimentation amongst resident mixologists, Bacardi created Mix Lab, an app launched initially in the U.K. and U.S., to provide more than 300 cocktail recipes to consumers making drinks at home, including classic serves and unique cocktails.
- Bacardi believes ‘Sustainability’ will be at the forefront of drinking habits this year, with more initiatives shaped by a focus on how spirits are made. Ethically sourced materials and businesses that support local communities will become increasingly important and a vast majority of people are willing to pay more for ethically sourced regenerative refreshments. The report showed that more than 50% of respondents globally are focused on using recyclable packaging and the reduction of single-use plastic as key themes in the space of sustainability. Bacardi has been investing heavily in this space for some time now with actions to diminish its environmental footprint through the Bacardi Good Spirited programs. In the spirits space, premium gin brand BOMBAY SAPPHIRE has been making significant strides in this area and is on a mission to become the world’s most sustainable gin. It is set to be the first major spirits brand to have 100% sustainably sourced botanicals this year. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE also looks after
the wellbeing of farmers and invests in sustainable farming practices to help protect the environment and the farmers’ livelihoods for generations to come.
- ‘Consumption Reconsidered’ - Consumers are becoming more flexible in their approach to sobriety, and 2022 looks set to see an increase in low ABV and non-alcohol choices. 58% of consumers globally are drinking more non-alcoholic and low-ABV cocktails (NoLo) compared to a year ago. As more people are exposed to NoLo options, awareness is also growing that NoLo spirits no longer compromise on taste, with the days of overly sweet or tasteless mocktails long gone. Instead, consumers can now enjoy the same quality cocktail experience whether the spirit is alcoholic or not.
- ‘Transformative times’ – Consumers are seeking cocktail experiences that deliver transformation, celebrate social connections, offer new experiences, and offer some sort of learning and personal growth. According to the Trends report, more than 40% of global consumers plan to spend more time going out to late-night bars, pubs, and restaurants. Aware of just how important convivial celebrations are to consumers, MARTINI has collaborated with photographer Greg Williams to curate a once-in-a-lifetime digital photography series of friends reuniting, with people asked to submit images from their in-real-life meetups as people come together in a truly unique moment.
- ‘New palates and concepts’- Citrus flavours are likely to remain in the limelight, driven forward by grapefruit and blood orange. A focus on spice from the food space is also impacting the world of cocktails with a rise in globally inspired flavours, such as tajin (increasing in use by 42% since 2020), furikake (+70%), and even hot mustard (+29%), according to Datassential. Yes! Hot mustard is taking over from Yuzu’s popularity in 2021. A surprise to most when they first hear it, but once you give it a try, you will taste for yourself what all the hype is about – the mustard provides the perfect combination of sweet and savoury with a bit of a kick. Though this is the first time we have seen hot mustard specifically appear, the 2021 report revealed that consumers and industry experts alike were interested in extreme flavour profiles in their cocktails – for example, spicy, smoky, sour, super sweet and bitter, a trend that we’re seeing remnants of. Overall, we are finding that consumers have been extremely open-minded and eager to try out drinking experiences that may be a bit more foreign to them.
Full Report: Cocktail Trends Report