Trend Spotting: 10 alcohol trends in UK retail to watch in 2018/19

The fast-moving UK drinks retail sector sees fashions come and go at a blistering pace. Here, Edith Hancock highlights the top 10 trends that are hot in the market right now and are likely to have real staying power…

(Photo: William Grant & Sons)

As national treasures go, few are as influential as David Attenborough.

Drinks giant William Grant & Sons recently released its annual market report, the takeaway point of which was that a new type of consumer is on our radar; the activist. During the launch, UK marketing boss Caspar MacRae highlighted the influence of television shows such as Attenborough’s Blue Planet II on consumer interests.

Nowadays, consumers have a “very real level of expectation” that brands should make their products unique and exciting, while also being ethically produced with locally-sourced, environmentally-friendly ingredients. Provenance is no longer something that can be achieved with a few words on the back of a bottle of gin. Now, producers are swapping disposable glass bottles for aluminium cans, lowering the alcoholic contents of their products, celebrating their hometowns and sourcing their ingredients from as close to their production facilities as possible in an effort to cut pollution.

“Consumers want value for money and something that aligns with their ethical and political views, is transparent, and good for them,” says William Grant & Sons’ marketing director Matt Billinghurst. “And they want it fast.” The big supermarkets are bolstering their no- and lower-alcohol drinks offerings, while cans of craft beers and gins listing their ingredients right down to the distillate are cropping up in high street stores such as Majestic Wine and Aldi.

But activist consumers also want excitement. After all, when a generation has to scrape together over £80,000 just to pay the 20% deposit on an the average London flat, consumers would rather spend their money on experiences and enriching their lives as they are.

Pink, orange and even blue gins are appearing in the off-trade, while sales of sparkling wine continue to soar in increasingly decadent formats. We’ve asked industry insiders to predict which of 2018’s trends they believe will stand the test of time.

One Response to “Trend Spotting: 10 alcohol trends in UK retail to watch in 2018/19”

  1. Andy says:

    Great to see Fifth Spire get a mention from LICHFIELD, not sure the LITCHFIELD village in Hampshire has much to do with it though?!

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