Limited Libations, Innovative Blending, Escapism Elixirs and More are Shaping the Way That Consumers Drink in 2024, Based on the Bacardi Cocktail Trends Report
Bacardi Limited, the world’s largest privately held international spirits company, releases its fifth annual Bacardi Cocktail Trends Report, anticipating the key trends that will redefine cocktail culture and the spirits business in 2024. The report, created in collaboration with strategic foresight consultancy, The Future Laboratory (TFL), draws on insights from Bacardi-led and external research, interviews with bartenders and insights from The Future Laboratory to share the themes that are transforming flavor preferences, drink formats, and cocktail experiences in the coming year.
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Find out what's in store for 2024 with the Bacardi Cocktail Trends Report. (Graphic: Business Wire)
“As 2024 arrives, people are looking to settle into the unsettled – welcoming tastes of optimism into our reality. In this landscape, people are reshaping cocktail culture, infusing it with fresh perspectives and finding memorable experiences back at the bar with friends. From redefining moderate drinking to a surge in sustainable attitudes, Bacardi is at the forefront, championing a world where people-driven cocktail culture thrives through innovation, experimentation, and overall better moments,” says Brenda Fiala, Global Vice President of Strategy, Insights & Analytics at Bacardi.
Here are the macro-trends defining spirits sipping in 2024:
Limited Libations. Next-gen drinkers are embracing a ‘less but better’ approach, continuing to support the ongoing premiumization era for key spirits, liquors, and NoLo categories. With a conscious approach to the economic climate, consumers are seeking small luxuries – looking to elevated lifestyle products as must-have pieces. This quality-focused shift transforms spirits into coveted collector's items, with forward-thinking brands enhancing limited-edition bottles through crafted storytelling. Simultaneously, the NoLo category continues to evolve, embodying 'The Sipping Spectrum,' where moderation is synonymous with choice, quality, flavor, and social connections. IWSR research illustrates this flexible future in action, reporting that almost half of NoLo consumers choose NoLo options on certain occasions, and full strength on others.
Innovative Aging & Blending. 2024 will usher in an era of innovation for dark, aged spirits, with brands embracing unique aging methods and novel flavor combinations. Distillers are venturing into uncharted territory, discovering new sources of innovation in the expanding category. Bold and unexpected pairings continue to lead, whereas regional experimentation yields spicy, fruity, and zesty profiles in innovative formats. While enjoyers of dark, aged spirits are diversifying their palates, rum-based cocktails are continuing to grow in popularity.
Tequila unanimously ranked as the number one premiumization category with
Mezcal named as the next to premiumize, as indicated by the Bacardi Global Consumer Survey 2023.
Escapism Elixirs. Cocktail culture is transporting consumers across destinations, countries and even eras – as classic spritzes and ornate sips help to recreate nostalgic, convivial moments year-round. In 2024, the link between drinks and destinations will deepen, with classic cocktails and European flavors whisking drinkers from the beach to the bar. This evolution isn't just about where but also when consumers enjoy drinks. As for letting loose, non-traditional venues are on the rise, with Bacardi research indicating a shift away from nightclubs to festivals as the new hub for revelry. In South Africa and India, more than one-third of respondents are looking to enjoy more sundowner cocktails over the next year, and approximately a quarter in the U.S. and Mexico (27%) and Spain (26%).
Notes of Nature. In the coming year, consumers will reframe their relationship to the natural world, impacting where they spend their time, the brands they support, and what they consume. With a resurgence in next-gen outdoor activities and a growing emphasis on sustainability, drinks brands are redefining their connection to the environment through intentional ingredients and eco-friendly practices. In the drinks world, 2024 will see brands and bartenders take a holistic approach to nature and its flavors – harnessing sustainably sourced aromatics, florals, botanicals and oils to create cocktail experiences uniquely rooted in nature. According to the Bacardi Global Consumer Survey 2023, 44% of respondents in Canada and 43% of younger respondents in the U.S. intend to consume more cocktails made with natural ingredients in 2024. In emerging markets, the numbers are even higher with 51% in India, 47% South Africa and 44% in Mexico.
- Tech-Enhanced Tastes. Digital advancements are inciting change in ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ drinks are enjoyed, providing all-new routes to personalization, brand experience and community. As consumers increasingly seek personalized brand interactions, AI is introducing exciting opportunities for tailored cocktail experiences, accessible anytime and anywhere. For the drinks industry, AI’s evolution will create all-new paths to experimentation and discovery, with brand innovators using the technology as a tool to bring consumers closer to branded cocktails and experiences, regardless of their location. While 8 in 10 younger consumers across select markets are looking to explore AI recommendations, they are adamant about maintaining the emotional connection and artistic finesse that only bartenders can provide.
About Bacardi Limited
Bacardi Limited, the world’s largest privately held international spirits company, produces, markets, and distributes spirits and wines. The Bacardi Limited portfolio comprises more than 200 brands and labels, including BACARDÍ® rum, PATRÓN® tequila, GREY GOOSE® vodka, DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, MARTINI® vermouth and sparkling wines, CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, and other leading and emerging brands including WILLIAM LAWSON’S® Scotch whisky, D’USSÉ® Cognac, ANGEL’S ENVY® American straight whiskey, and ST-GERMAIN® elderflower liqueur. Founded more than 161 years ago in Santiago de Cuba, family-owned Bacardi Limited currently employs approximately 9,000, operates production facilities in 11 countries and territories, and sells its brands in more than 160 markets. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited. Visit http://www.bacardilimited.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram.
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