Alcoholic drink trends in 2022

After indulging over Christmas and sobering up in Dry January, what’s next for the UK’s drinkers in 2022?

Let’s take a look at some of the top trends that drinks industry experts are forecasting for the coming year, and what they could mean for your brand.

Line of wine glasses

Zero-alcohol and low-alcohol drinks 

For an increasing number of people, it’s not just January that’s dry. Whether for religious, cultural or health reasons, some 20% of the UK population is teetotal – rising to 25% among young adults.

So the demand for ultra-low or no-alcohol drinks is growing. One forecast is that total volume consumption will grow by 31% by 2024 across 10 countries including the UK.

And those products are no longer overly sweet 0% lagers with an unpleasant aftertaste: drinks brands have really upped their non-alcohol game.

Beers are leading the way. For example, Guinness introduced its first 0% beer in late 2020 to , following Heineken in 2017. Both brands have paid close attention to factors such as mouthfeel, body and character.

At Club Soda’s pop-up alcohol-free off-licence in London, held between December 2021 and February 2022, shelves have been stocked with kombucha, wines, ciders, and spirits. We can expect to see such initiatives flourish in 2022.

Mindfulness and premiumisation

Of course, many people love the occasional glass of something stronger. They just don’t want their drinking to control their lives or damage their health.

So it’s out with the “mass volume vertical drinkers” that have long crowded into town centres at the weekends, and in with a more discerning tippler.

“Mindful drinking” refers to a more conscious style of drinking. The concept is simple: drink less, but appreciate it more.

So mindful drinkers don’t forego alcohol, but might choose lower alcohol options. Light-ABV spirits are a new trend for 2022: this category encompasses drinks of 10-30% ABV. Examples include Quarter Light Gin (12%) and Sollasa, a 20% spirit designed as an aperitif for Indian cuisine.

Alternatively, people might cut the number of days on which they drink, but seek out higher quality beverages.

“Premiumisation” is another buzzword for 2022, with tequila slated to be the big winner: it’ll be seen no longer as a spirit to be slammed, but one to be savoured.

Cognac could be due a revival, while new world whisky, Brazilian Cachaça, and British craft spirits such as rum could also make their mark.

And fine or niche wines, especially premium rosés, could well be in for a bumper year of sales.

Women's hands stirring drink

At home drinks

Savouring drinks is something typically done at home. While we all fervently hope that the days of lockdown are over, home drinking is a trend that’s here to stay.

Ecommerce sales of alcohol are predicted to grow by 66% in key global markets, including the UK, between 2020 and 2025. That gives drinkers scope to try more exotic flavours, or seek out rarer tipples.

But we won’t all be investing in home cocktail bars, replete with countless bottles of different spirits and mixers. Drinkers will choose a few premium spirits and let their flavours shine through simple, home-mixed cocktails.

Alternatively, they might pick up cocktails in a can: the pre-mixed, ready-to-drink market is forecast to do well in 2022.

But drinkers aren’t concerned only for what’s in their bottle. They’re also paying attention to sustainability: e.g. production, packaging, and transport.

So brands with a strong local flavour and honest commitment to environmental principles stand to do well in 2022. We’ll drink a toast to that!

Contact Linney today

The UK drinks market is an exciting one. There’s always a huge appetite for something new.

Whether you’re an established brand or a challenger, Linney offers world-class marketing services to help you connect with your audiences. Get in touch today to discuss working together.

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