Drinking to the Future: What's Trending in 2021 - Beverage Testing Institute

Drinking to the Future: What’s Trending in 2021

As 2021 gains momentum from the burning flames of 2020, the team at BTI wanted to gather and share some trend predictions for the coming year (not included in said predictions: whatever horrific event is unfolding in the photo above).

In spirits:

  • Prices for collectable offerings will rise as consumers have been drinking through their stash and clamor to re-up.
  • Boutique spirit brands will continue to grow in popularity as consumer thrill of discovery becomes more fervent.
  • Liqueur sales will continue to rise as at-home bartending continues and consumers crave more complexity in their cocktails.

In wine:

  • Greater consumer interest in East Coast wines due to 2020’s wildfires and recent tariffs.
  • Unfounded “natural” wine claims will receive stronger backlash as consumers become more savvy and demand more transparency.

In beer: 

  • Continuation of the slow, yet steady, rise of non-alcoholic options.
  • Hard seltzer isn’t going away any time soon, and has great potential to displace more “actual beer” sales.

In behavior: 

  • E-commerce is here to stay.
  • Cocktail delivery will maintain popularity. Consumers will want to continue developing what feel like more personal relationships with their favorite bars/bartenders and there are more opportunities for brand partnerships and brand-building, both with consumers and trade.
  • As more of the population becomes vaccinated, consumers will throw caution to the wind and gravitate towards on-premise offerings. A roaring 20s celebration reminiscent of that following the end of the 1918 flu will result in mass consumption as well as mass conversion of non-drinkers to drinkers.
  • Tired of months of home mixology, the 2021 consumer will be open to new offerings as well as new combinations and beverage innovation will continue at a record pace.
  • Continued interest in non-alcoholic offerings will sustain for 5-10 years.

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