With pubs, clubs, and restaurants now fully reopen to the masses, many people have been enjoying going out for a drink. In a bid to discover which drinks might be amongst the next big beverage trends, we questioned David Indrak, drinks consultant at The Cocktail Society and The Cocktail Service about what the next big beverage trends might be.
Read on to find out what David had to say…
Flavours and Ingredients
According to David, “citrus will remain king. Expect to see variations of orange, lemon and lime flavours adding a bitter dash to drinks, with twists like lemongrass in the mix”.
Industry research also suggests that “it might be a good year for pineapple and watermelon. Alongside this, it’s likely that herbal, floral and spice flavours will increase in popularity”.
David shared that “gin will continue to be popular although not to the same levels as seen in the last few years as ‘gin fatigue’ begins to set in. However, it is predicted that new world whisky will continue to grow rapidly with products from countries such as India, Taiwan and Holland continuing to launch in the UK”.
Also, “agave-based spirits like Tequila, and particularly Mezcal, continue to grow in popularity. We’re also watching Cachaça – usually associated with the delicious Caipirinha cocktail, but now seeing some growth outside of Brazil”. Brandy and Cognac are “due a renaissance and will start to occupy more mainstream positioning with consumers”.
David also expects more companies to “introduce Low ABV spirits and no alcohol alternatives”.
David predicts that “bottled cocktails and Ready to Drink (RTD) markets are likely to continue to grow as consumers continue to experiment at home”.
With a focus on health and wellness, “many distillers may begin listing sugar content and calories on their products”.
“Bars will continue to look to introduce more fun into their drinks programmes… Disco drinks and other previously ‘unfashionable’ cocktails will be reinvented”. “Ice-cream cocktails and hard shakes” will become more popular, and “the spritz and new variants will also continue to grow”.
According to David, “sparkling wines like prosecco are set to perform highly”. There will also be a “modernisation of how wine brands position themselves from a marketing perspective will continue to satisfy new millennial and Gen Z customers”.
Like noted with cocktails, “wellness and what we put in our body continues to matter for consumers. So, don’t be surprised to see more Natural, Organic, and Biodynamic Wines”.
Brewers have been saying for a few years that a ‘lager renaissance’ is just around the corner. David told us that while “big players like Budweiser and Carlsberg dominate the industry, it’s expected that in the craft world more lagers will be made, eventually potentially rivalling the IPA”.
As well as Low and Non-Alcoholic beers, throughout 2020 there was a higher demand for higher ABV beers. David explained that “habits are changing, with some consumers choosing to drink less but drink a higher % beer. It will be interesting to see if this split continues… also, sales of sour beer are on the up, and we’d expect these to become even more mainstream”.
We may also see “more experimentation with whiskey (bourbon) and beers blends – using barrel-aging for flavour and trying to create beers which mimic the flavour combinations of whiskey. Some breweries like Horus Aged Ales in California are already pushing the envelope on what is possible in this space”.
David mentioned that “functional and adaptogenic beers will also be a growth area”.
As consumers look to low and no alcohol alternatives, “we’re keeping our eye on Kombucha due to its flexibility with flavour, and – like the cocktail market – we expect to see a move towards less sugar, and towards lighter flavours.
Further launches will be expected in the soft drink area to “capitalise on increasing demand for more complex and ‘grown up’ options for those that don’t drink”.
Also “Snapchilled and Nitro cold brew canned drinks are increasingly popular, offering a low sugar option with a creamier flavour”.
Dairy free alternatives will continue to become more widely available, and in different types, so “along with almond, soy, and oat, watch out for hemp and macadamia nut”.
Hot Beverages, and other trends
David mentioned that “Dalgona or whipped coffee was a viral trend last year, and its popular honeycomb toffee texture means it’s surely one to watch. Matcha and other unusual tea varieties will be used in more drinks”.
David said he’d be “surprised if Hard Seltzers did not continue to grow in popularity. Often a low sugar/calorie option and seen as a ‘grown up’ alternative to sweet spirit and mixers, these are the trend of the moment”.
Also keep an eye out for “nitrogen infusions, along with historical techniques like smokes and infusions”.
As well as discussing with David, we also analysed 100 drinks-related hashtags on TikTok – across ingredients, flavours, wine, beer, spirits, cocktails, soft drinks, hot beverages, and more.
Ordered from most to least hashtag views, the findings showed the following:
|RANK||DRINK RELATED ITEM||TIKTOK HASHTAG VIEWS|
|26||Vodka red bull||96M|
|44||Cold brew coffee||35M|
|52||Gin and tonic||17.6M|
|77||Long island ice tea||1.2M|
|86||Peanut butter coffee||145.5K|
|95||Ice cream cocktails||8,792|
The findings also revealed that while TikTok data does not yet reflect all the expert predictions, it does show what is currently growing in popularity. For example, the research discovered that vodka, bubble tea, and tequila were currently amongst the most popular drinks trends on the video sharing platform, each with billions of views.
Looking at category specific findings, when it came to beer, ale currently beats IPA, lager, and stout. When it came to cocktails, mimosas have the edge on gin and tonic, Aperol spritz, and espresso martini. Looking at wine, port beats sangria, prosecco, and orange wine. For hot beverages, Dolgona coffee beats matcha tea, cold brew coffee, and turmeric latte – and when it came to spirits, vodka currently tops the list, beating tequila, whiskey, brandy, and gin.
Slowly creeping up on mulled wine, hot toddy might be the big drink of Christmas 2021. Mulled cider, on the other hand, looks less popular – but things could change over the coming months.
If you’re looking to try a new tipple (or two), we have plenty of drinks hampers to choose from, including wine hampers, gin hampers, spirits hampers, beer hampers, prosecco and champagne hampers, as well as non-alcoholic drinks hampers.
Disclaimer: The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. Virginia Hayward are not liable or responsible for the accuracy of the advice provided by third party experts, nor for the content or operation of any third-party websites, webpages, or resources which have been linked to within this article.
*TikTok hashtag view data correct as of 10/08/2021