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The cocktail and spirits trends to watch in 2024

A new list of trends to watch in 2024 has been created to show how the spirit and cocktail sectors will be shaped in the year ahead.

The list, which has been compiled by SevenFifty Daily showcases five key trends and shows not just the opportunities, but also what is already gaining traction. Read on for the full rundown of trends to watch.

Asian spirits
Despite Asian spirits such as Japanese shochu, Korean soju, and Chinese baijiu being among some of the most consumed globally, they are still relatively new to many parts of the world. Following on from the trend for Japanese whisky, the listing outlines how a broader range of Asian spirits are expected to gain momentum in 2024 citing a report from Datassential that shows an increase in consumer interest in soju at 50%, in baijiu at 37%, and in shochu at 40%, most notably amongst Gen Z.

No- and low-alcohol
There was double-digit growth for the non-alcoholic category between 2020 and 2022, according to Nielsen, and in 2023 it expanded further via mainstream retail and the arrival of a mid-strength alcoholic sub-category. Data from IWSR Drinks Analysis revealed how the majority of people who drink no and low alcohol beverages also consume alcoholic beverages too, showing the category has room to grow as it isn’t just tapping into one audience.

Coffee as a cocktail ingredient
The popularity of the Espresso Martini has carved out a path for what is being called a new era of coffee cocktails and a great starting point for interpretation. Coffee is said to offer a point of relatability for consumers and a functional caffeine hit and also goes hand-in-hand with the trend for brunch cocktails. As a result, drinks experts are anticipating that other coffee cocktails will take over from the Espresso Martini in the coming year. Interest in the search term ‘Carajillo’ has doubled in the past year, according to Google Trends, with some people already predicting that it might be the ‘it’ drink of 2024.

Gen Z comes of drinking age
Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) has already begun to impact the industry, with 47% wanting to support brands that address equality, and sustainability, according to a 2023 ICSC report. This also means that, according to SevenFifty Daily, the brands relying on historical popularity could find it challenging to recruit Gen Z consumers. Despite a lot being made of Gen Z drinking less those that do drink have been reportedly doing so more frequently than older generations and also have a preference for spirits and cocktails over beer and wine.

World whisky
Alongside the popularity of Japanese and Taiwanese whiskies, other lesser-known whisky-producing countries are attracting attention. SevenFifty Daily outlined Denmark’s Stauning, Israel’s Milk & Honey, Australia’s Starward, and Peru’s Black Whiskey which have taken top prizes in competitions. Additionally, South America could be of particular interest to whisky fans due to its potential to age in former wine casks and, according to the IWSR, whisky is projected to overtake vodka sales by volume in the US for the first time in two decades as more world whiskies become available in America in the coming year.

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