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Increasing consumer sophistication driving drinks trends

Consumers becoming more aware of new categories and niche experiences is driving how they choose and connect with their drinks, according to global drinks market analysis company IWSR.

IWSR Drinks Market Analysis’ annual Global Trends Report, released this week, examines developments and identifies opportunities around the world for the beer, wine, spirits and mixed drinks market.

Among the key findings of the report was the rise of global sophistication, which was changing consumer behaviour. In developed markets like Australia it emphasised the latest manifestation of the premiumisation trend. The report said “an attitude of ‘less but better’ is driving consumers towards crafted products – often with a hyper local spin”.

This focus for consumers means that more niche and localised flavours are starting to gain traction “for instance, spirits made with locally foraged botanicals” the report said – a trend well established in Australia particularly within the gin category.

Those bars and venues looking to engage more with their customers should know that “increasingly niche and personalised experiences are helping curious consumers to connect with their favourite drink categories”. The report adds this includes “monthly subscription clubs and experiences such as ‘meet the maker’ events at craft distilleries and breweries”.

The other area that IWSR said was driving consumer trends and engagement was “social experience and inclusivity”. In particular this was the increasing popularity of drinks tourism, pop-up events, festival and “interactive spaces which encourage people to plan drinks-led experiences”.

The report said: “In today’s restaurant scene, themed cocktails and unique food and drink pairings can be a core component of the dining experience and may even provide a route into novel cuisines.”

The good thing is that much of what the report highlights is already being seen in Australia including great collaborations between restaurants and bars to create new and unique food and drink combinations and experiences.

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