Consumers have evolved over the last year, as far as their beverages preferences are
concerned. The focus is on Drinking Better and not Drinking More !
Increased focus on Health and Wellness – Consumers, particularly millennials, are more
health conscious, and they’re willing to try new, healthier alternatives to traditional soft
drinks. Bare are developing Sparkling water alternatives, as soda consumption declines,.
Healthy drinks like plant-based waters, kombucha and functional beverages are also
gaining popularity. Bottled water is also gaining ground over soft drinks as the leader in
The lower calorie, sugar and alcohol content of hard seltzer has also been popular with
consumers. New hard seltzer products are being offered by brands ranging from bottled
water to beer, and these brands are acquiring hard seltzer companies. Sales of non- or
low-alcoholic versions of spirits, wine and beer are likewise increasing. It is expected
that no-alcohol wine, spirits and beer will see the most growth within the alcohol
Home Experiences – This will be the next big thing in India. After experiencing safe
drinking at home, evaluating the relatively lower cost associated with drinking premium
spirits at home in a much more relaxed environment, a lot more people are now wanting
to continue this practice. This will lead to a major offtake of premium single malts, craft
gins and other premium alcohol which will be deemed far more affordable when enjoyed
at home. Until the GTR opens up again, retail will be the most preferred channel to
access home bars. There is a growing focus on mindful drinking and people will move
towards flavor and experience. Brands with a purpose ! Though in the short run people
will prefer known and larger brands, in the long term they will prefer brands with a story,
focus on sustainability and the source of the spirit. People would prefer functional
beverages and healthier options will dominate. Brands will be asked to declare values,
good conduct and state purpose. Moderate “most” day drinking will be preferred to
drinking heavy on the weekends. Work from home, focus on health and a better lifestyle
will see to the adoption of a higher frequency but a lower intake. This will be aided by a
growth in low or no alcohol beverages. Most people would prefer to enjoy few drinks of
any low ABV spirits, than drink heavy alcohol beverages. Food and drinking together,
matching and pairing food and drink and creating more fun times at home is what most
people would prefer.
Premiumization – Discerning consumers will continue to enjoy premium beverages. They
will spend more on top shelf brands including aged single malts, craft gins, sipping rum
and tequila. As the economy remains strong across the globe, consumer interest in more
expensive drinks remains high. With access to many different brands from various
regions around the world, consumers are eagerly becoming connoisseurs. For home
bars, they buy are single malts, for more than twice as much as the traditional
The growth of premium mixers is also particularly compelling to watch. These zero-
alcohol, zero-calorie beverages are made with exotic herbal ingredients. They come with
a price tag reflective of these high quality ingredients, and consumers are willing to pay
Brand Ethics – As consumers become more environmentally aware, there will be
increased demand for brands to share consumers’ approach to ethical and sustainable
living. Sustainability is having an impact on everything from packaging to production
methods and ingredient sourcing, with drinks producers looking at activities such as
waste reduction, eco-friendly packaging programmes and carbon footprint levels.
Products that are organic, vegan, free from additives, and/or that offer label and
ingredient transparency, will strive to match consumer ethics as well.
Convenience – Beer and soda are no longer the only beverages that come in cans.
Canned wine, hard seltzer and cocktails have all become mainstream. They give
consumers the ease of drinking their favorite products at the location of their choice and
with the instant satisfaction they’ve come to expect. Drinks like ready-to-drink (RTD) are
also growing in popularity as they offer the grab-and-go convenience that fits into busy,
yet healthy lifestyles.
Flavours & Infusions – Bolder flavours & natural sweeteners will replace sugar. There will
be a higher focus on new flavours and related experiences. People will also look at cask
finishes, fortified wines and natural ingredients to enjoy with the drinks. Most people
have registered a preference towards adopting drinking and eating together as a
lifestyle. While beverages would be of no and low alcohol during week days, people
would try different flavours of cuisine and pair them with their drinks. Home bars will also
see a lot of personalized infusions, healthier cocktails and water as a dominant mixer.
Most people have also indicated a preference towards spirits and starters rather than full
dinners. Focus will be on flavours than cuisine.