2017 trends - beyond wine

Hands holding glass of gin and tonicThere’s an array of exciting emerging trends making headway across all categories as the drinks industry innovates to better meet the needs of a new generation of value, quality and health conscious drinkers. We explore the non-vinous trends that might become the next big thing.


Hands holding glass of gin and tonic           

Brewing botanicals

With even a Botanicals Week on the latest series of Bake off, British consumers are clearly embracing herbal and floral flavours in various forms. Gin is the most obvious culprit and may be responsible for opening consumers’ palates to the world of botanicals and their nuances – try Rock Rose Gin from Scotland, which combines 18 different botanicals. We’re also seeing this trend flourish in softs, with the launch of alcohol-free spirit Seedlip. Craft beer dabbles with herbs in styles like Gose or our own Yeastie Boys’ Gunnamatta Tea Leaf IPA. These flavours are generally perceived as more sophisticated than the sweet, manufactured flavours that are more at home in the flourishing fruit wine category. Flavouring drinks with botanicals make them appeal to discerning consumers who appreciate the connection of root-to-stem cooking and general wellbeing. Cocktails are the obvious botanical choice, but we’re looking forward to seeing which other categories become infused with this growing trend. 

Ogilvy Vodka being poured    


Gin has been all anyone can talk about in spirits for some time now, but with vodka the favourite spirit of 1 in 3 consumers, its turn in the spotlight is overdue. Some of vodka’s recent sales growth (2% in volume and 6% in value) is due to a rising demand for vodka & tonic. It seems only natural that it should piggyback on the success of the G&T, especially with such high-quality tonics now available.


Dark matter rum and cocktail    

Premium rum

We picked rum as a trend this time last year, but there’s more to come and we’re backing it again for 2017. The growth of golden (including spiced) rum has rocketed since then and sales have risen 24% over the last 12 months. With Captain Morgan still accounting for 30% of the total rum volume consumed in the UK, there is room for a premium challenger brand, like Dark Matter.


Beers lined up in a row    

Red Ale

Our pick for 2017’s trendiest beer is red ale. Pale ale may have had its day (sales are down 3% this quarter), and stout isn’t to everyone’s taste, but red ale bridges the gap between the two – the caramel malt flavours of Rocket Red Ale from Bear Republic is a perfect example. 19% of consumers have already tried red ale, putting its penetration just behind American IPA (22%), which led the way in the craft beer movement. Urban Professionals have already been picking up pints of red and 43% of these trendsetting consumers have already tried red ale.


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22nd February 2017

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