Distilling Trends for 2020
Inside the Industry

Top 5 Alcohol Industry Trends to Watch for in 2020

As we hit the fourth quarter of 2019, you’re bound to start seeing lists of trends for next year. Of course, we had to make our own contribution to the cocktail of predictions. Craft distillers still have a lot to look forward to, in our opinion, but there are challenges on the horizon as well. Keep reading to see our list of the top 5 upcoming alcohol industry trends.

1. Cocktails in a Can

Canned cocktails are no longer the weekend barbecue impulse purchase of the past. Higher quality ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails have been hitting the market in recent years to growing success—and growing demand. Nielsen reports close to a 40% growth in sales of canned cocktails. Convenience, availability, sip-ability, portability and lower-alcohol content are among the reasons why consumers purchase RTD cocktails. Cocktails in a can are particularly popular among millennials, who crave the bar experience without the hefty price tag.

2. Gin, Again

Old becomes new. A revival. “Ginnaisance.” Call it what you will, there’s a definite uptick in popularity for high-quality gin. It can be attrributed to the revival of cocktail culture and the adventurous use of botanicals at craft distilleries. Gin is trendy, especially super-premium brands, where the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States reports U.S. volume growth of 14.7% in 2018, with plenty more room for this category to expand. Don’t be surprised to see more flavored gins, which accounted for 40 percent of premium gin growth last year according to the 2019 International Wines and Spirits Record.

3. Brown Spirits Booming

Collectible brown spirits are enjoying an increase in popularity lately, with the value of rare, esteemed whiskey growing by 40%. Compared to the next highest asset, coins, which rose by only 12%, whiskey is making a killing among collectors. And it doesn’t end at the auction house.  The production of super-premium liquors—at price points of $35 or more—have also shot up to meet consumer demand.

4. Cocktails shine bright on Instagram

Instagram isn’t just for fashionistas, world travelers and The Rock. Brightly colored cocktails are also all over users’ feeds, with impressive shots and inventive recipes that would make any cocktail connoisseur’s mouth water. Top cocktail influencers, or drinkstagrammers, take their job seriously – from the lighting, to the angle, to the creativity of their concoction. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to get into the drinkstagrammer game, check out Apartment Bartender for ideas on how to showcase your products.

5. Alcohol Delivery Rising

Groceries delivered to your front door? It was only a matter of time before the online shopping experience expanded to include alcohol. Despite hefty regulations, more and more liquor stores and grocery chains are seeing the appeal of allowing shoppers to purchase alcohol online for delivery. Consumers are accustomed to doing the bulk of their shopping online these days, so the trend isn’t a surprise. For craft distillers, it may mean that getting their products on grocery store shelves will be even more important in the coming year.