19/10/2020 The cocktail world in the US is a large category - here’s what’s trending right now.
Cocktails are undoubtedly a crowd favorite in the US, and have been for quite some time. The innovation of mixing drinks together and creating a beautiful concoction that is pleasurable to the tongue, and also brings in a little bit of buzz is known to attract a lot of drinkers to the wide world of cocktails.
Over the years, we’ve seen the world of cocktails come up with new trends, as well as revive old trends. Along with the classics like Margarita, Negroni, Whiskey Sour etc, bars across the country also have their own take of cocktails on their lists. Bartenders and mixologists are known to work up their creativity and create concoctions that consumers keep wanting more of.
As we evolve into the new era, year by year, the love for cocktails remains on the consumer’s tongues - but what changes is the trends.
Let’s take a look at the current running cocktail trends in the US.
Ready to drink cocktails
Ready to drink (RTD) is a growing category that is gaining more popularity as time goes by. Consumers love an RTD cocktail - whether it’s in a can, in a juice box, or in a bottle. The ease of ready to drink cocktails is what attracts consumers the most. Late 2019 and early 2020 saw a major rise in ready to drink cocktails, as consumers found it is a great way to carry their cocktails around and enjoy a concoction from anywhere.
RTD cocktails took an even larger hike as the pandemic hit and people started staying inside. During the lockdown period, where bars and restaurants were shut, consumers gravitated towards the RTD cocktail category. Once bars & restaurants started opening up, consumers were still vary of going out and enjoying a drink at their favorite bar. However, their love for cocktails definitely didn’t disappear. Instead of going to bars and restaurants for a fresh drink, consumers are now diving into retail stores and lurking online, grabbing their favorite cocktail cans/boxes - so all they have to do is pop a can open and enjoy the booze.
A lot of brands have started creating RTD cocktails. Some major brands that are sticking with the trend and expanding their RTD cocktail portfolio include:
In fact, thanks to the RTD trend, bars have also started creating RTD cocktails as part of their delivery/pickup services. Most of them come in a little bottle, or an attractive cup. So all consumers have to do is enjoy their cocktail - without going to the bar.
Ready to mix cocktails
A little different from ready to drink cocktails, ready to mix cocktails offer consumers an entire bar experience from anywhere. Especially since the pandemic hit, brands and bars are both coming up with cocktail kits which include everything one would need to shake up a cocktail themselves. For consumers, this has proven to be an easy way to learn how to make cocktails, and also enjoy a cocktail at home or with friends. It’s a tough task to find all the ingredients you need to build cocktails - so ready to mix cocktails have been a great purchase by consumers. The cherry on top of it all is that consumers can tick ‘bartending’ off their bucket list.
A great example of ready to mix cocktails is Poison Cocktails. Poison Cocktails offers consumers cocktail kits, in which all they have to do is, well, mix and drink. The brand also offers gift sets, and ready to drink cocktails as well.
Low ABV cocktails
The low abv trend has been alive for quite some time now. In fact, at the beginning of 2020, consumers were diving into low abv drinks like no other. With consumers becoming health conscious, and some just wanting to cut down their alcohol intake, low abv cocktails are shining through the category.
According to an article published by InsideHook, 55% of bartenders said that the low abv drinks category is going to rise, and keep rising as consumers are preferring the lesser boozy drinks.
Sparkling wine has already seen a huge rise among both consumers and producers, and now, bubbles are moving into the cocktail world. Cocktails made with prosecco, sparkling wine, and seltzers are climbing the ladder. In fact, bubbles have been a rising trend since 2018. In an article published by The Drinks Business in late 2019, they said “Last year, one of the most sought-after serves became the Aperol Spritz; orange Aperol liqueur made by Campari, mixed with Prosecco and soda. Aperol sales were up nearly 25%, according to Campari”
Consumers these days are fully into protecting the earth, and making sure that waste created from anything they’re buying is at it’s minimal - cocktails included. Bars, restaurants, and brands that are working towards a sustainable production, including reusing alcohol, fruits, glasses etc. are gaining all the hype from consumers. With the world’s situation deteriorating right now, consumers are deeming it as important to drink from brands that are following sustainable production, and from bars that create a healthy and sustainable environment and drinks.
Let’s not forget the fact that millennials are known to snoop around and bring out the truth in everything. Consumers are becoming more aware of what they drink, and they require the utmost transparency. Consumers now want to know how their cocktails are made, they want to know what liquor you’re using, they want to know what’s going on behind the bar. Over time, bars and restaurants have started being more transparent with their consumers to pull in the consumers’ trust.
With current trends growing, cocktails are seeing a rise in sales. Consumers still love cocktails, they just like a different shake to it.