RECAP: Flavor Forward in Alcohol Beverages

This webinar discussed the current trends in alcohol as well as what c-stores may see in 2024.

December 18, 2023

Beverages continuously go through innovation, especially within the beverage alcohol category. In the webinar “Pouring Innovation: Flavor Forward in Beverage Alcohol,” industry experts discussed past and present trends on innovative “flavor forward” products within the category.

The speakers also discussed emerging trends, challenges and the future of flavor in the  category, including in ready to drinks (RTDs), cocktails and overall flavors.

Kayleigh Theriault, client manager of BevAI thought leadership at NIQ, said that RTDs are changing the alcohol category. In four years, the overall sales of RTDs have more than doubled, going from $5.1 billion to $10.8 billion this year, making up 12% of total alcohol sales.

“The opportunity with wine RTDs is huge,” said James Fortescue, BP. “We’re putting a focus on wine. Spirit RTDs are a little different because of licensing, but where we do have it, we’re seeing consumers transition. They’re going to transition from regular hard seltzer to spirit-based because they want real alcohol compared to malt alcohol.”

NIQ also sees the convenience channel as the go-to channel for RTDs.

Other trends that the speakers discussed include growth in imported beers,  IPAs remaining the largest style in craft beer, and hop water rapidly gaining popularity.

Non-alcoholic beverages are worth keeping an eye on. Fortescue noted that while they have carved a little bit of space on shelves in stores, they aren’t convinced that sales will take off.

For more on the flavors at the forefront of beverage alcohol innovation, including those in craft beer, whiskey and RTDs, view the webinar here.