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Matthew Clark predicts 2016 drinks trends

British drinks distributor Matthew Clark has revealed what it predicts will be the six most notable drink trends of 2016.

Matthew ClarkOn the whole, it expects drinkers to be “increasingly adventurous” in their wine choices.

Wine companies are also predicted to be adventurous in 2016, with more and more expected to switch to using original, unique and eye-catching labels on their bottles.

Beer and premium spirits are also primed to do well in 2016, with beer thought to be the most popular drink.

Click through to see all the predictions…

Eye-catching wine packaging

A paper wine bottle
A paper wine bottle

2016 will be a year of interesting labels and eye catching packaging designs for wine, according to Matthew Clark.

Designers have already started to create wine labels modeled after flags, boarding tickets and beehives.

Rachel Love, Matthew Clark wine development specialist, said: “We’re seeing customers attracted to wines with bright colors, eye catching designs, and more playful names.”

Giving your product an unusual name and a striking cover has long been a tactic used by small craft beer brewers. However, more and more vineyards are now following suit.

“We’re seeing labels becoming a key focus for suppliers,” added Judith Nicholson, Matthew Clark’s assistant wine buyer.

Beer booming


Matthew Clark expects beer, more than any other drink, to be 2016’s biggest hit.

“More women are drinking beer than Prosecco,” said Geoff Brown, marketing director at Matthew Clark.

“Women are drinking less sparkling wine and moving on to premium lagers.”

Beer sales increased 2% over the last year, and it remained the most popular drink throughout 2015.

“Beer is going to be huge in 2016,” said Justin Wylde, Matthew Clark’s beer, cider and softs marketing manager.

“It’s been such a talking point this year, with people even planning on pairing beers, ales and IPAs with their Christmas menus.”

Obscure grapes

GrapesMore wine drinkers are expected to embrace vintages from unusual regions than ever before.

“We expect to see customers moving away from perennial favorites and delving into something a little different,” said Love.

“New Zealand Pinot Gris is one to watch!”

Wines from Michigan, Austria and even Japan have seen increased popularity, as customers become more willing to experiment with vintages from different regions.

Premium spirits

bondmartini2310aPremium spirit brands are expected to be a major feature in 2016.

While sales of cheaper spirits dropped by 1.3% in 2014, high-end products experienced a 5.8% increase in the number of bottles sold.

Spirits in general became popular again in 2015, with customers buying four more bottles of Vodka per month and an additional one and a half bottles of Spiced Rum compared to the same time period in 2014 (August – October).

However, it is the continued growth in premium spirits that caught Matthew Clark’s eye.

Why the sudden interest?

“Bond might have something to do with this craze,” said Lauren Guest, Matthew Clark’s insight manager.

Prosecco popping

Prosecco-TeaserThis year, Virgin Wines saw its Christmas Prosecco sales leap to 170% higher than the year before. In August, Prosecco sales overtook Champagne sales in Britain.

These facts amount to Matthew Clark expecting Prosecco to be extremely popular in 2016.

“Prosecco was such a big hit in 2015,” said Simon Grayson, Matthew Clark’s wine development specialist.

“We foresee continued growth, with 2016 witnessing the premiumisation of Prosecco with customers buying ‘blingier’ looking larger formats.”

Food pairing

The majority of Brits are scared when it comes to ordering wine in a restaurantWith customers feeling more confident in their wine knowledge, the number of people pairing food and wine together is expected to jump up.

Love said, “Food pairing is a trend that is continuing to grow, consumers enjoy learning about what works well with food and also see it as an opportunity to trade up on wines without breaking the bank.”

Food pairing has also become more popular outside of the wine trade. BrewDog opened two new bars, with food menus specially chosen to pair well with its brews.

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