Adult Beverage Trends Going Into 2024

From the experience flavors, consumers are looking for unique drinks.

November 06, 2023

Datassential released its 2023 Future of Drink report, which features the top adult beverage trends that consumers are following into 2024.

The first major trend in 2024 is that there are fewer rules in the beverage category—and more crossovers. With the introductions of hard soda, wine cocktails and whiskey seltzers, the lines between traditional categories are being blurred. Among the crossover trends, wine cocktails rank the highest in awareness, but other options including tea-based alcoholic beverages, cannabis/THC infused drinks and spiked coconut water are also drawing consumer interest, said Datassential.

Technology advancements continue to reshape the industry, reports Datassential. There are smart cocktail systems that combine the drinks themselves for customers. Other behind the scenes advancements allow liquors like whiskey or rum to be aged in just a few weeks but taste like those aged for decades.

Nearly half of consumers, 49%, are interested in low-alcohol cocktails and 45% of consumers are interested in craft “mocktails” and CBD-infused beverages, a beverage trend that is rising with “the new sobriety” movement, reported Datassential. The movement focuses on being intentional with drinking and exploring mental and physical health benefits of drinking less alcohol or not at all.

Latin American beverages are gaining traction with consumers. From smoky mezcal to sweet falernum (a Caribbean syrup of lime and spice, either alcoholic or not), Latin American beverages are on the rise. The margarita is already the No. 1 most-loved cocktail in America, said Datassential.

At the same time, alcoholic beverages from Asia, including Japan, China, India, South Korea andTaiwan, are gaining popularity. Sake is fairly well-established and is paving the way for whiskeys from other parts of Asia to shine in America.

Customers are looking for drinks that are more of an experience, touching on all five senses. Consumers are most interested in cocktails that are colorful, infused with herbs or flowers or those that have a flaming element.

Post-pandemic, wine trends have been the strongest with consumers, reported Datassential. Overall, consumers are most interested in natural and dessert wines, followed by wines from unique growing areas, both inside and outside the United States.

The beverage trend of beverages as desserts is also rapidly gaining popularity, with many new beverages being dessert-inspired wines and beers and the addition of alcohol to items like desserts and Jello. Items like boozy frozen desserts and dessert wines already have a lot of consumer awareness and interest, but boozy treats like pastry stouts and “milkshake” IPAs are also increasing in interest.

Consumer interest continues shine on drinks that are perceived to be healthier with less sugar or fewer calories. This includes natural wine and low-calorie/carb beer and cocktails but also “better-for-you” drinks like functional sodas and detoxifying cocktails.

Fizzy drinks continue to pop across the beverage category. From unique sparkling wines and wine seltzers to alcoholic tonic waters and extra- high ABV seltzers, there’s been a continued “spike” in this area.

Consumers increasingly focus on sustainability, with greater interest in products that are produced in a way that has less impact on the environment, have sustainable packaging or those made with wild yeast or heirloom grain.

Additionally, consumers continue to look for convenience and flexibility drink format. The shift to off-premise and DIY drinking during the pandemic meant more canned and bottled cocktails, portable cocktail kits and make-your-own cocktail kits, which continue to gain popularity.