Drink Up: Adult Beverage Trends and Stats You Need to Know

June 13, 2017

Colleen Vaughan

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Summertime cocktails, boozy brunches, craft beer…the adult beverage industry is booming as consumers are looking for new ways to relax and entertain. While going to bars and restaurants to consume beverages is still a part of the culture, U.S. consumers are now indulging more at home. A December 2016 study by IRI® found that between 66 and 76 percent of consumers across generations reported drinking at home at least once per week, compared with only 23 to 26 percent who reported drinking once per week on premise. What else is influencing consumer’s adult beverage purchase decisions? Here’s the trends and stats you need to know and how to harness them to influence shoppers.

The trends leading consumer drink choices

Popular bartenders are seeing consumers going back to basics. Think of classic cocktails like highballs, martinis, sours and flips. A more basic ingredient list also calls for higher quality ingredients overall. Consumers are desiring more savory drinks, allowing fermentation and seasonal ingredients to rise in popularity this year.

Tequila, please: 44 percent of consumers voted tequila as their favorite liquor base for cocktails, so it comes as no surprise that margaritas are the most popular cocktail in the U.S. Drinks like daiquiris, piña coladas, Long Island iced tea and mojitos follow closely behind.

Cranberry Ginger Margaritas by Simply Whisked

Wine drinkers are on social

The Wine Business Institute and Sonoma State University released the following findings about wine drinkers from their “American Wine Consumer Preference Survey”:

  • 44 percent of wine drinkers who regularly use social media use it to discuss wine
  • 47 percent look up wine prices
  • 54 percent try to get wine information
  • 51 percent ask friends for wine recommendations
  • 50 percent said personal experience is the most important factor in alcohol choices

Related Content: Understanding the Fickle Adult Beverage Consumer

Social influences adult beverage buyers

According to eMarketer, 26 percent of drinkers followed alcoholic beverage brands because they wanted discounts or coupons. Additionally, 15 percent purchased an alcohol beverage as a result of content encountered on a social network.

Partner with influencers for new usage occasions

The classic pairings of an ice cold beer and a burger, a salt-rimmed margarita and tortilla chips with salsa, or wine with cheese are a no-brainer when it comes to creating usage occasions for alcohol products. Yet there are so many more usages waiting to be offered by brands for consumers to be inspired by. This is where social influencers come in: think of them as at-home bartenders, culinary creatives and personal party-throwers. Partner with them to create new spins, pairings and usages for your product. The creativity is endless when you partner with influencers of differing niches. They offer an unparalleled level of accessibility to their readers by inviting them into their homes on social and showing how they serve up their favorite alcoholic drinks. Influencers can showcase how they kick back with a cool drink at the end of a work day, how they throw parties for friends and families on the weekends, and how they incorporate alcohol into their favorite dishes and treats. Check out some influencers at work below.

Blogger Jennifer Meyering created a fun twist on a traditional sangria cocktail by freezing them into popsicles using Chardonnay Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi.

Busy mom Stephanie of ParentingChaos.com took her harvest-ready strawberries and infused them with Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi. She then dipped them in melted white chocolate and cheesecake flavored candy oil for a decadent summer treat.

Maris of In Good Taste paired Hillshire Farm’s Polska Kielbasa with beer, cheese and apples for a hearty soup that could be easily recreated by readers at home.

On her blog All For The Memories, blogger Allison Waken shared the ultimate Fourth of July DIY cocktail bar/party setup with Svedka vodka, complete with recipe cards for guests to fill out and simple syrups galore.  

Liquor, beer and wines sales are continuing to skyrocket with new products being released constantly. Will your brand be the one consumers are inspired to buy?  

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