Traditionalists, snobs and aficionados will have to rethink their drink as sweet wine, beer with meals at high-end restaurants, funky-flavoured whiskey and more no-no’s pour into 2013’s adult drinking trends.
Dion Chang in conversation with BizRadio’s Grant Jansen
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With a sugary nod to Millennials, wine trends continue on the sweet side. A younger wine drinking public under the influence of pop culture may have played a major role in the 56% increase of sales of sweet Moscato wine when rap artist Waka Flocka Flame introduced Moscato to the masses in the lyrics of his hit song, No Hands.
Beer hops from bars to best restaurants – No longer relegated to bars and burger joints, the world’s beers are finding themselves amidst the fine linens and silver at high-end restaurants. The same care that goes into developing an all-star wine list is now being applied to beer lists as beer’s food-pairing appeal finally earns it an invitation to the adult table.
Beer gardens bloom – The hottest trends in beer, food and socialising come to life in large open spaces—both indoors and outside—devoted to the casual enjoyment and exploration of beer and food.
Whiskey gets frisky – Flavoured whiskies were the fastest-growing spirits type in the U.S. market in 2012—rising 154.8% to 94,000 cases in Nielsen channels—and the segment figures to be a hotbed of both innovation and competition looking ahead.
The category includes three Impact “Hot Brands”: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, which sold 320,000 cases in its first year on the market; Jim Beam Red Stag, up 58% to 300,000 cases; and Wild Turkey American Honey, up 28% to 230,000 cases. Other category players like Evan Williams Honey Reserve and Cherry Reserve (which nearly doubled in combined volume to 100,000 cases) and 7 Crown’s Honey and Cherry extensions (which also nearly doubled, to 80,000 cases combined) have also seen rising sales.
Honey Tea, Spiced, Black Berry, Green Apples -spirited flavours are waking up whiskey, increasing demand from existing whiskey drinkers and attracting new users.
A new guest at the dinner table – In new whiskey-drinking markets which include Africa, especially Nigeria, and China, whiskey is the drink of choice to accompany meals.
The tap turn-on – Drinking from a keg used to be the stuff of raucous parties but when it comes to keg wines, trendsetters love the classic delivery twist. Any dispenser that showcases cocktails and spirits—whether table top or behind the bar—is en vogue for 2013.
Why it’s important? Time-honoured, sacrosanct beliefs with regard to spirits, beer and wine will be diluted as unexpected flavours and beverages pop up in unexpected places. Off-beat, innovative and surprising adult drinks with new tastes are creating new rules.
What’s the butterfly effect? Distillers are becoming more creative and inventive as new flavour experiences become the norm. Restaurateurs are rethinking their beverage offering to include a comprehensive range of beers and sweet wines.
Purveyors of adult drinks will have to raise the bar and rethink their marketing. Next-level retailing will take an upscale turn as beverage retailing moves from “package store” to “bottle shop” concepts that focus on eclectic spirits, wine and beer offerings, hand selling of products and attention to the overall customer experience.
The pioneers and global hot spots – Southern Comfort, the Brown-Forman Bourbon-based liqueur brand, is continuing its efforts to expand its audience with new flavour options, including Fiery Pepper and Bold Black Cherry.
Chocolate-flavoured whiskey from Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn, New York. The cacao comes from Brooklyn too, or at least the spent hulls of what Kings County uses to craft their spirit. The liquor is made by soaking the shell, normally headed to the compost bin, in the whiskey. Upcycling – something to drink to!
Taiwan, of all places, is home to Pescadores Pumpkin whisky.
Create Restaurant in Leeds, England, offers a comprehensive beer list which includes local beer on draught and a well- chosen selection of beers in bottles that pair well with the food, and an Imperial Stout to match with the desserts.
Number 1 Beer Garden in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is living up to its name as the first choice for trendy tipplers.
Author & Observer: Raleen Bagg
Advertising industry refugee. Freelance writer, full time participant in all that is intriguing, expressive, fascinating, stimulating, startling and surprising. From time to time, reading, painting, photography and restaurants seduce me away from the keyboard.