25 Jan 2021 The biggest alcoholic drink trends for 2021
Some drink trends will continue into 2021 because of the pandemic (canned wine sales have increased by as much as 232%) and other trends will continue to grow in spite of it (such as the boom in demand for high-end wines as well as for celebrity drink brands).
Some companies will help to solve real world problems and other trends will simply be much more colourful – think orange wine and pink prosecco.
Drinks companies will adapt to/solve real-world problems
In 2017, Dr Stafford Sheehan developed a vodka made from carbon dioxide and now with his friend, Gregory Constantine, who worked in marketing for Smirnoff, they literally create vodka from thin air. Their joint company, Air Company was one of ten finalists in the Carbon XPrize in 2020, as reported by The New York Times – they just couldn’t get to the event because of Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Working from a sustainable distillery in Brooklyn, the pair use patented technology to convert carbon dioxide emissions into beverage-grade ethanol – the resulting premium vodka removes one pound of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere per bottle.
Across the Atlantic, one French researcher, Maxime Haure – working for a Lyon-based research company Atelier du Fruit – discovered a zero-waste winemaking technique, as reported in The Connexion.
After grapes have been pressed to make wine, the remaining pulp, called marc, is considered waste – some companies pay industrial alcohol-makers to take it way to extract the ethanol, others use it as compost or mulch.
Haure found a way to unlock the flavours in this wine waste through fermentation while studying for his doctorate; a process that will unlock the flavors in the pulp, which can then be used to naturally flavour or perfume products without the need to use synthetic ingredients.
Canned wine sales will surge
Boxed wine has proved very friendly over the pandemic period, with global sales shooting up and canned wine is showing the same kind of growth. Both have suffered from a poor reputation in the past, but it’s rapidly changing, partly due to changing demographics and new fresh companies on the market.
Kate McManus, VP of marketing for Delicato Family Wines, which produces the Bota Box brand, one of the largest boxed wine producers, believes that millennials are driving this trend. Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors — or any location outside of the traditional table — is more acceptable than generations past,” she said.
According to Nielson, canned wine only accounts for 0.4% of the overall wine market but many think it has wider potential than just millennials; for instance, high-end canned wine would fit well with sports clubs or golf clubs.
What’s more, it’s pandemic friendly – a perfect marriage for people looking to drink wine outdoors without having to share bottles.
RAMONA is one example of a brand driving the trend; it is produced without chemical additives, low in sulfites, allergen-friendly, vegan, and packaged in recyclable aluminum BPA-free cans – the company experienced a 232% spike through online retail sales during the pandemic.
Danelle Kosmal, VP of Beverage Alcohol at Nielsen stated that canned spirits are up 140% during the pandemic and “as restaurants began to expand on ideas like canned wine gardens, it will be interesting to see if this will further normalise the idea of cans and other alternative packaging for wine and even ready-to-drink cocktails.”
The Spirits Business predicts canned cocktail sales will surpass $146-billion by 2030.
Rosé champagne and prosecco will have a moment
2021 will see the continuation of celebrities launching into or expanding their stable of wines, champagnes and liqueurs, but the most successful or impactful have been in the pink, and mostly fizzy in nature.
Kylie Minogue launched her second rosé wine, Chloe; Poppy and Cara Delevingne launched a high-end prosecco, and Brad Pitt outdid everyone by launching a rosé champagne house with a retail price of $300+ a bottle – all of which were favourably received and caused a buzz.
In January, a British prosecco brand will be amongst the first to introduce rosé prosecco to the UK. The Emissary is tailored to the English market and ticks all the current must-have credentials – it is low in sugar, 100% vegan and created on a family-run vineyard in Italy using environmentally friendly techniques.
The wealthy will keep drinking richly
Despite the pandemic, the demand for high-end cocktails and wine will continue to rise – whether it’s a UK company creating hand-made blended cocktails for $130,000 or a bottle of Burgundy wine reaching record sales at auction.
Established in 1820, Acker is the oldest wine shop in America and the world’s largest fine and rare wine auction house and is sure that the boom in rare wine sales will continue – in November 2020, a two-day auction set 125 new world records for lots of Burgundy wine; six bottles of 2002 Domaine Leroy Musigny sold for $136,400 and twelve bottles of 1991 Armand Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze fetched $124,000.
Orange wine will be helped by Instagram
Orange wine has a long history, having been made in Georgia for the past 2,000 years, as reported by The Guardian. It’s made from white grapes but picks up an orange colour from where the fresh juice is left in contact with the skins to develop an orange hue – the longer the juice is left, the darker the colour.
Orange wines are different from white wines in that it’s best to serve them warmer than white wines, at about 12-14C, they taste well when decanted and have enough tannin to go well with red meat, especially lamb.
Many UK supermarkets are increasingly stocking orange wines, with Sainsbury’s finding that one aspect of its popularity among 25-34 year olds is that they like the way the orange wine looks when posted on Instagram.