The current climate of crisis has had an effect on pretty much every aspect of all of our lives. The cocktail industry is, unfortunately, included in that. At the beginning of this quarantine period, alcohol sales boomed. And for the most part, they continue to. But, there are some trends that have developed throughout this time that will stick around for the long haul.
Whether you’re involved in the back end of the drinks industry or just a self-proclaimed cocktail connoisseur, we want you to be prepared for what’s coming next.
Even more experiences with technology.
It’s become clear that the steps out of quarantine life will be gradual, rather than an abrupt shift back into our socially active lives of the past. Throughout this period, the drinks industry has worked to create unique experiences that continue in their customers’ homes when they can’t make it to their favorite public places. This newly engrained social distancing behavior will likely continue for months after the pandemic ends. Because of this, bars, breweries, distilleries, etc. must continue to become more technologically savvy to keep their regulars coming back for more.
Virtual drinking experiences will continue to rise throughout social media, as well as specialty to-go cocktails that patrons can take with them as they go.
Health-conscious cocktails are the focus.
The Low-ABV movement was on the rise even before the COVID-19 crisis was a thought in anyone’s mind. Along with hard seltzers, lower alcohol cocktails are loved, especially by the health-conscious generation, and appreciated for their versatility. While people have become increasingly concerned about their physical health, they have begun to take a look at their drinking habits. Cocktails with lower alcohol content are deemed more responsible and mature.
Though there is a particular group that has taken this time to increase their alcohol intake, this won’t have much of a direct effect on the low to no alcohol movement. The term mindful drinking has become something to latch on to for those who may be cutting back for an assortment of reasons: whether they don’t drink for religious reasons, for the benefit of their health, they’re pregnant, cutting back, the list goes on and on. For others, this trend is something that has put their health at the forefront at a time when it has become unerringly necessary.
Do-it-yourself cocktail kits for when you can’t get out.
Lingering fears of crowded public spaces may have a hand in your brand followers looking for at-home versions of their favorite cocktails. DIY cocktail kits not only provide the exciting end result but also an activity for your customers to partake in at home when they’re feeling uninspired. Nostalgic cocktails like the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Negroni all use flavors and ingredients that make them super simple to create at home. Keeping your followers inspired and hopeful throughout difficult times will help to establish brand loyalty in the future.
Leaving quarantine with a brand new kind of loyalty.
Speaking of loyalty, as the shift to online and make-it-yourself cocktails have become popular, so has the move to buy more from local businesses. The COVID-19 crisis has been particularly harsh on the little guys. While big-box stores like Wal-Mart and Target have seen booms in sales, smaller mom and pop shops have been unable to open, and likely don’t have much of an online presence.
Many residents have felt that shift and have made it a point to become more loyal to their local eateries and drinkeries, so that they are still there once the dust settles. In fact, a recent study showed that four out of five global consumers say that this pandemic has impacted them to feel even more connected to their communities. And more loyal to boot.
All it takes is a little influence.
While we’ve all been working from home, social influencers have felt an increased pressure to provide not only entertainment but tangible resources for their followers. As brick and mortar stores have felt the decline in traffic, buyers are looking to a digital influencer to find their next favorite drinks and brands. The term Influencer recognizes them as someone in a specific niche or industry with powerful sway over a target audience. Influencer Marketing, then, is a form of advertising which builds brand authority directly due to that person’s reputation.
With there being more options than ever in the craft drinks industry, there is a significant opportunity for alcohol brands and the influencers who promote them to educate their followers and steer them in the right direction. Brands are not only able to gain even more exposure, they are also increasing the confidence of the consumer about what they want.
We know you’ve heard it before – these are uncertain and difficult times – but they truly are. What we are learning about the cocktail industry is that it is ever-growing and ever-changing; always adapting to what its audience is looking for to satisfy their thirst amidst a chaotic climate.