Published on January 23rd, 2024
The Biggest 2024 Drink Trends
How you can benefit from 2024’s changing drink scene
In 2023, customers all over the UK eagerly embraced their
newfound freedoms after the crisis that was the pandemic. As the world
transformed, so did the individuals you cater to. Their mindset shifted towards
seizing the opportunities life has to offer, exploring new horizons through
travel, and indulging in high-quality products. These changing attitudes have a
significant impact on the drink trends of 2024. Let’s explore how you can
identify and leverage this shift to your advantage.
Surging Seriousness about Sake
Asian spirits have been steadily gaining recognition among consumers. Whilst the buzz around Japanese whisky (such as Suntory Hibiki Whisky) has been building for several years, a broader range of Asian spirits are expected to gain popularity in 2024. “The popularity of sake will continue” says Sam Phillips, commercial manager for spirits at Berry Bros. & Rudd, who noted that the merchant sold more sake in one week of May 2023 than the whole of the previous year – a testament to the increasing interest in the Japanese rice wine. Combine the rice wine with flavours such as yuzu, sakura or melon, or serve on its own.
Notes of Nature
The relationship between consumers in the UK and nature is undergoing a transformation. Sustainability has become an essential aspect, leading customers to engage more in outdoor activities and seek respite from screen fatigue. As a result, beverages made with fresh ingredients, infused with floral flavours, and sourced ethically are gaining popularity among the younger generations of drinkers. Embracing a more sustainable business model benefits everyone involved; according to the Bacardi Global Consumer Survey, a significant number of customers are willing to pay extra for drinks or cocktails that are produced sustainably. In Mexico and South Africa, a staggering 79% of respondents consider sustainability as the top reason to pay more, surpassing factors like lower calories, celebrity endorsements, and even quality!
The coffee cocktail craze has taken the world by storm, and Espresso Martinis have been leading the charge. But why stop there? It’s time to take your Espresso Martini game to a whole new level. How about adding a dash of cinnamon for a warm and cozy twist? Or perhaps a splash of coconut to transport your taste buds to a tropical paradise. Your venue doesn’t have to stop there: the Carajillo cocktail (made by combining espresso and Licor 43) has doubled in Google search terms in the past year.
Coffee not only provides customers with a reliable option, but also delivers a much-needed caffeine boost, making coffee cocktails an essential addition to your brunch offerings. With the emergence of exciting new flavours and innovative techniques in 2024, incorporating coffee flavours into cocktails makes them accessible and suitable for any time of the day.
No- and Low- Go Large
We’ve been discussing ABV and the rise of the no- and low-alcohol trend quite a bit lately, mainly because the demand for these beverages has skyrocketed in recent years. According to a Nielsen IQ report, the no-alcohol category has experienced double-digit growth between 2020 and 2022. This cultural shift is particularly noticeable among the newest generation of drinkers: Gen Z. By offering a diverse selection of alcohol-free cocktails, your establishment not only caters to the evolving preferences of your customers, but also stays ahead of the competition. This gives your business ample time to build a loyal and diverse customer base. With a wide range of reliable brands offering an ever-expanding variety of alcohol-free spirits, you can curate a product lineup that perfectly complements the atmosphere of your venue. By constantly adapting to the changing needs of consumers, your business will thrive and remain bustling with activity.
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About the author
Madison looks after all copywriting and proofreading for Drink Warehouse UK, working with the Marketing team to deliver educational content to all our customers. She spent many years in the hospitality sector across bars, clubs and cafes before moving to Asia to gain new experiences. You can find more from Madison about beer, cider, spirits, wine, non-alcoholic, soft drinks and RTDs all over our blogs, website, social media, and Set The Bar magazine.