5 February 2021
Author: The Future Laboratory
: Domestic Drinks : The global pandemic has had a profound impact on the drinks industry. It has undoubtedly expedited the at-home and e-commerce convenience culture we had already begun to enjoy, bringing more experiences straight into our homes than we could ever have imagined.
The pandemic has made home the focal point of our social lives and changed the eating and drinking landscape forever. Initiatives such as virtual happy hours and live-streamed gigs have allowed people to recreate their favorite elements of bars and restaurants. With many bars now offering online cocktail classes and carefully concocted drinks delivered directly to our doors.
: New Drinking Cultures : For consumers, the pandemic has ushered in entirely new drinking cultures, ranging from Japan’s on-nomi (online drinking) to walktails (cocktails to drink while walking) and making cupboard cocktails from reserves at home.
Cocktail classes and kits have seen huge success via highly visual platforms with vast audience reach, such as Instagram. The appeal of this DIY approach is echoed in data from Nielsen CGA, which shows that 40% of consumers are interested in make-at-home cocktail kits, followed by bottled pre-made and grab-and-go options (both 37%).
When Covid-19 restrictions ease and social life resumes, consumers will seek pleasure, nostalgia, and escapism, shifting their focus from enhancement to enjoyment. During what some are predicting to be ‘the second roaring 20s’, we will return to bars, seeking quality over quantity and perhaps to celebrate after a tough year. It’s a sentiment echoed by the Bacardi Holiday Survey 2020, with many people planning to treat themselves, their friends, and family in 2021.
Some of these emerging, indulgent trends including:
: Flavour sensations
A desire for extremes will dictate our drink choices in 2021, with sensorial experiences that range from the striking heat of chili through to super-sweet, sour, bitter and smoked flavor profiles.
: Nostalgic classics
In terms of spirits, various trends are emerging among classic categories such as gin, tequila and rum, and interesting differentials are arising across markets.
: Traditional cocktails with a twist
New and creative ingredients will add a fresh perspective to classic drinks when we’re back at the bar.
Discover our Pleasure Revolution macrotrend on LS:N Global – a look at a future shift from enhancement to enjoyment.
Post-lockdown, consumers armed with newfound knowledge and appreciation of spirits and cocktails will fuel a reinvention of the bar. Venues will step up to offer more personalized and unique concepts for this spirits- savvy customer, who will seek out deeper connections with bartenders in order to learn even more.
Respondents to the Nielsen CGA On-Premise Survey concur, predicting that many of the creative solutions developed in 2020 – cocktails-to-go, delivery of cocktail and meal kits, and escalation of e-commerce – will endure when restrictions ease. We could see venues and bartenders playing with menus, offering changing weekly options according to stock levels, and special drink deals as well as virtual classes, tastings and happy hours.
As an industry, hospitality has been slow to embrace digital transformation, but the pandemic has resulted in a multitude of new digital platforms. Apps now enable easy ordering and payment through a range of methods, and bars are being demystified through better online menus.
While digital platforms can’t replace human contact, the Bacardi Global Brand
Ambassador Survey shows that bartenders were exploring digital solutions in late 2020 and will continue to do so into 2021. As we move through this decade, these solutions, combined with new emerging technologies, will facilitate a new level of comfort for customers and make bars more accessible to everyone.
This is just a snippet of the 2021 Cocktail Trends Report. Click below to download the full report PDF.
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