Raising a Glass to the Future: Innovation in Alcoholic Drinks

April 2024

Alcoholic drinks have always straddled the line between traditionalism and novelty, with heritage providing timeless gravitas, while innovation recruits younger consumers or allows for fresh occasions or need states to emerge. The pandemic years derailed new product launch pipelines as the focus shifted back towards streamlining operations, but as Gen Z is coming of age, brand and category promiscuousness replace blind loyalty, and new rituals emerge, what does the future hold for innovation?

USD 1,325
Request More Information


This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Flavour sophistication and premiumisation retain their status as pillars of innovation, but macro volatility and subtle shifts in popular flavour profiles require flexibility

While premiumisation is taking a hit on the back of geopolitical challenges and still lingering inflationary pressures, the industry’s mantra of premiumisation will remain relevant and bounce back in the short-to-medium term. On the other hand, flavour sophistication will continue evolving, with a shift to more natural ingredients, lower sugar content and authentic, measured offerings.

Mindful drinking comes of age, and pivots into proxies, new occasions and functionality cues

The no/low trend is now firmly reaching the mainstream, embracing RTDs, cider and wine, while reaching escape velocity in spirits and further cementing its position in beer. Sidestepping dealcoholisation through proxy variants and an increased focus on functionality will shape the next stages of the category’s evolution.

Cross-industry collaborations, social media engagement, and embracing indulgence and nostalgia are essential for securing share of mind

Before securing share of throat and wallet, establishing brand equity and cementing share of mind is essential. Refocusing on inclusive, democratised and indulgent offerings, building authentic engagement in social media and venturing outside comfort zones to collaborate with other iconic brands are all key to breaking through marketing noise.

The future is here, from reprioritising sustainability initiatives to experimenting with tech solutions and testing new horizons with RTDs, innovation experimentation is back

Technology, sustainability and RTD experimentation all provide new avenues for growth, fresh positioning and branding opportunities, and an answer to many of the existential questions facing the industry – from maturity and saturation to environmental disruption and beyond.

Key findings
Breaking down the cocktail of innovation in the era of “total beverage” portfolios
What are the drivers behind the key innovation themes?
New rituals, new flavours, democratisation, premiumisation: The usual suspects still relevant
Deconstructing the cocktail of innovation: Euromonitor’s Passport Innovation
Celebrity culture and “ drinktok ”: Parmesan espresso martini and negroni sbagliato
Raising a digital glass: Navigating TikTok
From ethanol to GABA: The blurring of industry lines
Cheers to not drinking? From “never alcohol” to functionality and going full circle
Kin Euphorics : From moderation to “brain care”
Old meets… old: How trusted brands can join forces to break the mould
Blurring of industry lines?
Walk on beer? Heinekicks by Heineken and The Shoe Surgeon
Beyond moderation: Indulgence as mindfulness
Guilty pleasures: An answer to permacrisis?
“Here’s to the skrewballs !”: Peanut butter whiskey shakes up the industry
Sustainable, eco-friendly, green, organic, natural or just greenwashing?
Circularity, mycelium and rethinking categories
Embracing re-incarnation
Spirit-based RTDs: Harder, better, faster, stronger?
From ready-to-drink to ready-to-serve
“Not a cocktail. Not a beer. Not a hard seltzer.”: Ready to disrupt?
New digital frontiers: Beyond e-commerce
An analogue cocktail with a digital twist
“Meet the beer that made itself”: Will alcoholic drinks become self-aware?
Conclusion: Now and next

Alcoholic Drinks

Alcoholic drinks is the aggregation of beer, wine, spirits, cider/perry and RTDs.

See All of Our Definitions


If you purchase a report that is updated in the next 60 days, we will send you the new edition and data extraction Free!