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The premiumisation of the drinks industry is leading more and more consumers to seek out high-quality tipples to bring home to their drinks cabinets. For retailers, this offers an opportunity to maximise sales. To get the most out of your range, discover predictions for which products will be flying off the shelf in the next year…
Amid the dark days of lockdown, it emerged that shoppers had decided to brighten up their after-work drinks and Zoom socials with fun and colourful pink drinks. Consumers raised a glass to rosé, making it Waitrose’s highest-performing wine category, according to its Food and Drink Report 2022. Earlier this year, Sainsbury’s also noted that rosé wine was in demand, but so were sales of pink-hued beer and blush cider, which were up 237% and 49% respectively. Meanwhile, Whole Foods Market’s latest trends report pointed to the popularity of hibiscus, which offers a sweet, tart flavour in drinks alongside a hot-pink hue.
One summer 2021 hit which is sure to boost sales once again in 2022 is hard seltzer, a canned beverage which appeals to health-conscious consumers as well as exploratory foodie shoppers. One hard seltzer brand told Speciality Food that the UK will soon be entering the ‘honeymoon’ period for hard seltzers, so now is the perfect time to cash in if you haven’t already. British brands have seen volume growth of more than 1,000% since January 2020 to 1.57 million litres, according to data cited by The Drty Hard Seltzer Handbook. By 2023, it predicts the UK hard seltzer market will be worth £75m, up from £10.4m today.
Over the course of the pandemic, consumers have gone big on local products with a growing appreciation for the brands and businesses on their doorstep – and spirits certainly benefitted. Waitrose revealed in its report that it has upped its range of local spirits. Look out for local distilleries that have popped up in your area or which use locally sourced ingredients, like eco-distiller Wildjac. Read more about boosting spirits sales post-Covid here.
There will always be a place on fine food retailers’ shelves for a good wine selection, and Waitrose’s buyers say that lesser-known grape varieties are coming into their own. What’s more, Partridges MD John Shepherd told Speciality Food earlier this year that premium wines have been flying off the shelf, with fine wine sales increasing by 10% over the year, compared to an increase of about 1% across the whole shop. Discover more wine stocking ideas from TV presenter and wine expert Olly Smith here.
Jen Baernreuther, commercial director at the Speciality Drinks Group, told Speciality Food that this festive season, high-end rum, Scotch and Cognac will be must-stocks. Choose products that will appeal to a wide audience. “There is an increase in single cask, cask strength and rare expressions on the market and these can act as a great first step into drinking neat spirits or digestifs but are also complex enough for the spirits aficionado,” she said. Waitrose also noted it has seen strong sales in malt whisky. Over the last year, sales saw a particular increase over Christmas and Father’s Day.
Rosé is not the only drink to benefit from joyful colour associations. Drinks like the Negroni have soared in popularity in recent years and will continue to gain momentum. Waitrose said it had also seen strong sales of Aperol (up 148%) and Pampelle Grapefruit Apéritif (up 4,850%).
With so many tasty low and no alcohol drinks on the market today, it’s no surprise that consumers are leaning towards more moderate drinking habits. Over the next few years, IWSR Drinks Market Analysis expects consumption to grow by 31%. Speciality Food breaks down the trends in no and low alcohol drinks here.
When it comes to non-alcoholic drinks, today’s consumer wants more than great flavours. Research by FMCG Gurus revealed that many shoppers want a healthy upgrade in their tea and coffee. It found that 45% of consumers would be interested in hot drinks that help improve sleeping patterns and 55% would like to see claims around actively improving skincare health. Another 36% said they were interested in drinks that improved their digestive health and 35% wanted to see improvements to cognitive health.