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

6. Extreme craft

Craft beer and spirits are still booming, but drinkers and retailers alike are keener than ever to make sure what they’re buying is the real deal. Purchases of craft beer across the whole off-trade rose by just over 46% year on year to reach £138 million, according to Kantar Worldpanel. However, craft brewers Beavertown and Lagunitas fell foul of independent store-owners when they sold stakes of their businesses to Heineken.

Like many, south London independent bottle shop Hop, Burns & Black declared it would no longer sell Beavertown products after Heineken bought a minority stake in the company in June. Consumers, Dyer says, enjoy the sense of community that comes with buying a locally brewed beer or distilled gin. William Grant & Sons’ ‘activist consumer’, meanwhile, wants to support local and independent businesses.

To achieve that sense of community, the language of craft is becoming even more localised. When it comes to the craft side of the spirits category, gin is the clear success story. William Grant & Sons revealed that 82 new gin labels entered the UK market in 2017 alone. At the end of last year one new gin, Fifth Spire, distilled by two friends in a bedroom in Litchfield, Staffordshire, won a double gold award at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition. Selfridges Birmingham, started selling it for £40 per bottle at the end of last year.

Retailers are showing a continued and still-growing interest in stocking craft-focused drinks, but as smaller brewers and distillers continue to fill the shelves, major firms must keep their newly acquired brands’ identities clear. Craft producers are becoming smaller, and there’s less room for drinks giants to hide their influence.

2 Responses 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?!

  2. Will says:

    Just Crisps & Just Oil another business near lichfield producing 100% uk crisps and rape seed oil. Tasty.

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