10 Consumer and Industry Trends Impacting the Alcoholic Beverage Industry for 2021


Like all industries, the adult beverage industry has ongoing challenges. To better understand where things currently stand regarding the Industry for 2021 and beyond, we’ve highlighted some industry and consumer trends.

Because consumer analytics are becoming more refined, Adult Beverage companies have sought cost-effective analytic providers like FiO. There is no longer a need for an army of data scientists on staff. Spirit, Wine, and Beer manufacturers, importers, and distributors can now see how these trends impact their businesses and have the correct information that anticipates and enables them to take the appropriate actions to grow sales.

Let’s look at a couple of the more noteworthy developments. It’s a chicken and the egg situation. Consumer changes are impacting industry trends, as well as beverage industry adaptation is influencing consumer behavior.

1. The Adult Beverage Industry Is Not Slowing Down

As more and more people are becoming more health-conscious, consuming less alcoholic has become a personal goal. They have been trying to do something tangible and work on themselves during Covid. But even with individuals slowing or stopping their consumption, the Industry hasn’t been impacted yet. It’s balanced out a little by some people drinking just as much or more as Covid stress-coping mechanism. In fact, the adult beverage market is expected to grow by 4 % over the next six years. The Industry’s outlook looks rosy (or Rosé, sorry couldn’t help myself ) for now.

2. Selling Online and Direct to Consumer Is Becoming More Popular

As business has quickly adapted, alcoholic drinks can be purchased online DTC and even be delivered to your doorstep is becoming common. The online sales numbers in 2017 were $1.7 billion. Today’s numbers aren’t available, but they will far outpace that figure. 

Entrepreneurial companies like Drizly and Thirstie are already reaping huge rewards from online sales and off-prem retailers’ delivery. Boutique players also have been quick to adapt their technology to sell DTC to expand their market footprint. More options will flood the market because consumers have adapted to this convenience as well. 

3. Sustainability and Pollution-Conscience Consumers

It’s an exciting time for the adult beverage industry. We’re witnessing the rapid adoption of new twists on traditional drinks and more significant new concepts. As large and smaller beverage companies align their offering to mirror changing consumer preferences, further changes in the beverage landscape will happen in the future. 

Beverage companies have responded by becoming more eco-friendly as environmental concerns around excess packaging and single-use plastic influence consumers’ decision-making. 

Producers are also using alternative energy sources to run their operations, reduce waste from their plants, and eliminate plastic packaging. By mitigating their environmental impact, they can leverage their sustainability efforts as a brand differentiator in advertising campaigns. 

4. Premiumization

Spirits, Wine, Beer, and Coffee have consumers eagerly becoming connoisseurs. And the Industry is there to oblige. Consumers, especially the Millennial age group, are willing to spend for quality. They are also trading up by buying a little better-quality brand than usual. The Industry is smart to cater to this dominant demographic because it will dictate trends for the next 20 years. Additionally, due to Covid, most people haven’t been going out as much, so reallocating that money to purchase a higher quality product is a justifiable decision.  

5. High-end Spirits Are Becoming More Highly Coveted 

Another trend fueled by Millennials and adopted by Gen-X and Boomers is due to the internet’s ubiquity. You can learn about and have instant access to opinions, comparisons at your fingertips. If you want to know about the best options, you can quickly look them up. This has caused an awareness of premium products. And, that awareness is encouraging people to seek out, try, and collect.

6. Sake Is No Longer Just Famous In Japan

Although not replacing the demand for Whisky, Japanese Sake is becoming popular. And that is reflected in the uptick in sales. This popular drink from Asia has a worldwide fan base, with the United States accounting for approximately 30 % of international sales. Residents of Japan have always known the virtues of this rice-based alcohol beverage. Now the rest of the world is embracing it too.

7. Wine Is Going Beyond The Bottle

 The classic image of Wine is the elegant ritual of opening, smelling, tasting before pouring from a deeply colored bottle. But soon, you may be drinking Wine from a can. More and more winemakers are offering their Wine in cans. Wine lovers haven’t rejected Wine-in-a-can because sales have doubled from last year. Drinking Wine from a can could become commonplace.

8. Craft Beer Is No Longer a Niche Offering

People say that their first taste of craft beer can be a transformative experience. As millennials are rejecting mass-produced and marketed big brands, local craft beer has become uber popular. The number of craft breweries popping up is astounding. 

Craft Beer’s popularity has reached a point where more significant players are getting in on the trend by producing themselves or buying and absorbing brands and growing them by putting them into their distribution mechanism.

9. Convenience-led Consumers

As consumers demand more convenience, vendors and producers will have to accommodate. From DTC, home delivery, to ready-to-drink, all these options have accelerated convenience, leading to consumer expectations.

10.  Famous People are getting into Liquor Products

Rappers, Actors, Singers are launching their own brands. It’s only getting more popular. When it’s reported that actors like George Clooney and Ryan Reynolds have sold their brands for billions after a few short years, others are jumping at the chance want to get their piece.

There’s barely a celebrity that doesn’t have or invested in a gin, whisky vodka, or tequila brand. With slick marketing, social media, and packaging, the advantages are clear- Brands that partner with celebrities get the instant cache, reflected glamour, visibility, and a ready-made audience of fans ready to engage with the product. 

There you have 10 Consumer and Industry Trends Impacting the Alcoholic Beverage Industry for 2021. As mentioned above, it’s an exciting time for the Adult Beverage Industry. The consumer and the industry seem to be in sync regarding encouraging and adapting to these trends. 

FiO’s Advanced Analytics platform helps Adult Beverage companies have the right Predictive, Prescriptive, Emotional Customer Experience Analytics that anticipates behavior changes and increase buyer loyalty. To schedule a demo, click here.