This is based on the report made by the Kerve Creative.
If there’s one theme that’s influenced the alcohol sector over the past few years,
it’s craft. The explosion of independent breweries and distilleries over the past
decade laid out the principles of craft - small batch, high quality, provenance and
The big brands have been quick to co-opt the design cues and language of these
independent producers. In some cases they’ve simply bought those who were
challenging them. Encouragingly for consumers though, the major players also
seem to have adopted the independents’ taste for experimentation, in product,
packaging and marketing
IS THE CRAFT BUBBLE BURSTING?
Despite concerns that craft’s bubble will burst, the Brewer’s Association are bullishly predicting the current 5.5% share of the beer market will increase to 20% by 2020 and Mintel revealed that craft spirits accounted for around 15% of new global spirit launches in 2016.
From peanut butter beers to cinnamon whiskies, experiments with flavour are on
the increase. And the boundaries between what were traditionally alcohols and
soft drinks are blurring: the Beverage Marketing Corp predicted a 175% year-on-
year increase for hard-soda in 2016.
DRINK TO GOOD HEALTH
Fresh and local ingredients are being championed due to consumers’ increased
focus on health. Big brands are responding to the demand by changing recipes,
lowering sugar content and even providing gluten free options.
PACKAGING BECOMES A PRODUCT
Packaging has moved beyond its delivery function and even its visual identity
purpose. It’s now being used as a platform to demonstrate innovation, engage
tech-savvy consumers and deliver personalised drinking experiences
LET’S GET PHYSICAL
Physical retail is still vitally important to alcohol brands, and many are turning
to the $10billion pop-up industry to create bespoke, intimate, brand-focused
Fragrances to wear while drinking and beer brewed to accompany specific songs
may be interesting talking points now, but sensory marketing is predicted to
become best practice in five years time.
A VIRTUAL REALITY
You’re not a major alcohol brand nowadays if you haven’t got a VR experience
in your marketing locker, with brewery and distillery tours the favourite creative
route. AR campaigns are less seen at the moment, but set to account for four
times the spend over the next few years.
WINE BREAKS FROM TRADITION
Wine is booming, with Millennials. Despite a slowdown in overall category
growth, Millennials are consuming more wine and more expensive wine than any
Young, less stuffy brands, technology-driven explanations of
varieties and styles, and packaging innovations are driving the shift.
THINK SMALL, THINK LOCAL
Craft breweries and distilleries are building hyperlocal businesses, selling directly
to a smaller set of highly loyal customers who live in their immediate area. At
the other end of the scale, big data is enabling retailers to tailor stock within
individual stores to the tastes of the local patrons and, where possible, the
produce of the area.
THIS TIME IT’S PERSONAL
Established brands and startups are both using the internet of things, wearables
and the application of medical/scientific data to design hyper-personalised drinking
experiences. Even if some of the scientific claims being made in the marketing spiel