The 2019 BrauBeviale covered a number of topics, including trends that would shape future generations of drinkers (not limited to alcohol), digitalization, demand, sustainability and marketing developments. So what were the key take-aways?
The beer and soft drinks industry continues to thrive and demand is set to grow, even in challenging market conditions. Looking to the future, the drinks industry is already thinking about ‘Generation Z.’
One of the key emerging trends that will grow over the next few years is the growing market for those who abstain from alcohol and/or are ‘sober curious’ (those who don’t abstain from alcohol completely but who rarely drink choose to it, instead deciding to consume it on special occasions or very sporadically).
Far from being a negative, the new trends are instead presenting some interesting opportunities for beverage producers. Alcohol-free beer, for example is seeing increased demand, and alcohol-free alternatives are on the rise. It’s important to point out that not consuming alcoholic beverages doesn’t mean that people aren’t drinking in the same quantities as before, instead, they are looking for premium, top-quality beverages that don’t have alcohol as alternatives or replacements to traditional beers, wines and spirits….consumers still want a special drink to have while they are socializing with friends, at a dinner party or simply to sip on in front of a movie on a Friday night.
The opportunities in alcohol-free drinks lie at the top-end of the market. People aren’t looking for traditional sodas or sparkling water and lime as replacements for alcohol: they want lots of choice and a variety of flavors to choose from in bottles and packaging that feels premium. From a packaging, bottle and label perspective, consumers want all the equivalent looks of a bottle of a top-quality spirit or beer, but without the alcohol content. Millennials with disposable income are typically driving demand in the market for alcohol-free alternatives, but it’s expected that in the years to come, Generation Z will continue the sober curious trend.
Beer and spirit producers however, need not fear: BrauBeviale underlined that these are markets where consumption is on the rise (and demand is only set to grow). Consumers are used to aluminum and glass containers and are enjoy that these are typically materials that can be easily recycled, including with from home pick-up services run by local municipalities and councils as part of standard usual trash collection systems. Demand for premium, paper-based labels is also growing quickly, as consumers reducing non-essential and single-use plastics.