How do Alcoholic Beverage Brands Survive with Increased Competition and Rapidly Changing Consumer Preferences?
From 2010 to 2013, there was more than a 50% increase in product renovations and new product launches across beer, spirits and wines. With so much change happening in the industry, we decided to dig deeper. Our research revealed a number of key trends shaping the industry, and the message seems clear: global, well-known brands that dominate the market are in increasing competition with a growing list of craft and small production houses. Further, high-impact consumer trends are shaping how both groups are innovating the marketplace. The result is an undeniably greater set of choices for consumers now and in the years to come, individual brands will face an uphill battle to maintain leadership positions over time. In particular, two trends we identified stand out as considerations for long-term business strategy for alcoholic beverage brands of all sizes:
- Spirits and wines outpace beer: Domestic beer is struggling, and Hispanics and women are driving dollars to spirits and wines. At the same time, there is higher consumer loyalty overall to spirits and beer brands than to wine brands.
- Millennials and Baby Boomers account for two-thirds of the drinking population: As more Millennials reach the legal drinking age, the industry can expect profound changes to marketing tactics and product innovation. Millennials seek experiences and are more likely to try new things – they are adopting a “broad drinking profile,” indicative of choices that are increasingly dictated by flavor and occasion.
How can alcoholic beverage brands not only survive, but thrive in this increasingly dynamic environment? Marketers will need to appeal to dynamic differences in consumer tastes. Health and wellness is high on the consumer radar in the alcoholic beverage category, provoking the recent juicetail phenomenon. Brands will also need to innovate selectively but broadly. Flavored gin and whiskey innovation is already on the rise. The industry will continue to see more development in hybrid spirits and other innovations to address Millennial drinking habits and health and wellness trends. To read further what other companies have done in this space, please read the full article on sustaining performance in the alcoholic beverage industry.
Sources:  Mintel Global New Products Database
About the Authors
Siddharth Vaidyanathan advises clients on innovation and growth solutions, managing our accelerated industry research team in New York. He works with clients on market opportunity assessments, stakeholder navigation, product/service innovation, concept development, value chain, and competitive assessments. Prior to this, Sid was Project Director with ORC’s Consumer Goods team. His key responsibilities included solution design, project management, analysis, and insight development.
Jordan Brodsky focuses primarily on consumer trends analysis. Her areas of expertise include consumer packaged goods, particularly beverage. Jordan has worked with a multitude of food and alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverage clients and enjoys conducting primary and secondary research to uncover key trends to shape clients’ marketing and branding strategies.