Di-still My Heart | 5 Big Alc Bev Trends for 2023
2023 has already proven to be an exciting landscape for the alcoholic beverage industry. Major players entered the Super Bowl advertising field after 30 years of exclusivity held by AB InBev.
Non-alcoholic adult drinks continue to secure market share, with Dry January demonstrating a strong consumer interest in this growing segment. Classic brand mainstays and buzzy new brands are competing to capture eyeballs and boost their media KPIs, while also looking for innovative ways to drive full-funnel advertising solutions.
As an ad partner to many alcoholic beverage brands, we’ve seen five significant trends emerge from the alc bev space that deserve marketers’ attention. This blog highlights those major industry shifts and provides a few quick tips to help you capitalize on these hot trends!
Bottoms up, and let’s imbibe in the details!
1. Continued eCommerce Growth
Consumers continue to enjoy the convenience of online shopping in a post-pandemic world. This habit extends to purchasing alcoholic beverages (in addition to those late-night Amazon buys!). In fact, IWSR predicts 34% growth for alcohol eComm sales between 2021-2026.
Notably, shoppers are more frequently using mobile apps to make their alcohol purchases. Drizly, a leading alcohol delivery platform, states that mobile phone apps drive 70% of its sales. Alcohol brands are increasingly leveraging the power of retailer websites and delivery platforms to capture sales from consumers’ couches, and it’s working.
Alcohol brands are interested in influencing shopper intent exactly where consumers are increasingly making purchase decisions – on their mobile devices. And as alcohol advertisers continue to embrace eComm they look to the newest technologies that influence purchase decisions and quickly drive sales from phones or tablets. The continued growth of alcohol eCommerce purchases demonstrates that this trend is here to stay.
Marketers are ultimately looking for an eComm experience that reduces friction. Seamless retailer integrations and click reductions are critical for brands looking for better consumer experiences and more robust ad performance.
2. Home Mixology is Still Kicking
Domestic cocktail culture is still alive and well in our post-pandemic world. Despite growth in the ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail space, home mixologists are still looking for creative recipes and ways to flex their drink-mixing muscles at home. According to the Bacardi 2022 Cocktail Trends Report, nearly half of cocktail drinkers are continuing to experiment with home mixology and loving the results.
As cocktail culture continues to thrive, it is clear that home mixologists are here to stay. We expect to see even more creative ways to make and enjoy cocktails in the future. Adopting innovative technology that makes it easier for shoppers to purchase the ingredients necessary to make these cocktails is becoming a vital part of the strategy for alcohol advertisers.
Keep it simple! With the rise of RTD alcoholic beverages, spirits brands that promote simple recipes and accessible ingredients are poised to capture market share. Advertising tactics that offer turnkey recipe list integrations are vital to savvy brands looking for a leg up on competitors.
3. NA Beverage Growth
The non-alcoholic beverage market is growing. With Gen Z and Millennials leading the pack, there is a consumer shift in reducing alcohol consumption while still maintaining the social ritual of enjoying an after-work beverage or weekend drink with friends and family. Enter non-alcoholic beer, wine, and spirits.
According to Neilsen IQ, from August 2021-2022, NA beer was up nearly 20% in sales, followed by 23% growth in NA spirits and a whopping 89% growth in NA wine sales. There is strong demand for a non-alcoholic drink option for adults, and brands are taking notice.
With the help of advanced technology, brands can target likely adopters and drive purchase intent. Additionally, as more consumers choose to reduce their alcohol consumption, the market for non-alcoholic drinks will only continue to grow, providing even more options for those seeking to enjoy a drink without alcohol.
Dry January is a great time for brands to introduce their NA products. However, relying on past purchase data won’t suffice with audience targeting when consumers shift behavior. Brands should focus on solutions offering purchase intent indicators, such as shopping list data and online drink recipe views.
4. Don’t Forget the In-Between Holidays
Alcohol consumption is a significant part of many holiday celebrations, with brands historically capitalizing on major holidays to launch an advertising push. However, it’s also during the more “minor” holidays when alcohol brands successfully launch targeted ad campaigns.
For example, looking at the results from a Numerator/Alcohol.org poll, the top holiday that US consumers intended to purchase alcohol to celebrate was not New Year’s Eve or even Thanksgiving. With 54% of consumers interested, Cinco de Mayo took the top spot for intended alcohol purchases. Brands are following their consumers’ habits and are looking to get in front of shoppers’ exactly when they are primed to celebrate.
Brands are recognizing the importance of leveraging purchase intent insights to reach the right consumers with targeted campaigns. By understanding their audience's unique preferences and behaviors, brands can craft campaigns that are more likely to result in actual purchases, helping them maximize their ROAS and build stronger relationships with consumers.
Ultimately, these targeted media campaigns offer a win-win for both brands and consumers, providing a more personalized and engaging experience that drives business growth and consumer loyalty year-round.
Alcohol brands are embracing advertising solutions that offer enhanced targeting capabilities to run both large and small-scale campaigns. Efficiency and effectiveness are top priorities for brands capitalizing on seasonal demand, regardless of the occasion.
5. Maintaining Digital Tied House Compliance
In the age of digital media, brands and retailers are constantly seeking new ways to navigate the complex web of compliance regulations. The US tied house laws, established during the prohibition era, continue to challenge businesses operating in the alcoholic beverage industry. However, digital solutions are now available to help overcome these 90-year-old compliance restrictions.
As businesses navigate the intricacies of compliance in the digital age, brands are looking for inventive solutions. By streamlining the purchase process and creating a more seamless experience for consumers, brands can increase sales and build stronger customer relationships. As a result, we expect to see continued growth and innovation in digital compliance throughout the years ahead.
Many alcohol brands use AdAdapted's eCart Accelerator product to offer an effective way to comply with Fair and Equitable Trade Practices and drive in-store sales. By incorporating the choice of retailers in branded ads, eCart Accelerator eliminates the need for an added interstitial step, reducing friction and enhancing the consumer experience.
The results speak for themselves. Brands using this tool find an 80-90% increase in cart transfer rates. This success demonstrates the potential of digital solutions to help brands overcome compliance challenges and drive sales in a highly regulated industry.
The alcoholic beverage industry is undergoing significant changes in 2023. The emergence of new players, the growth of non-alcoholic drinks, and the increasing demand for eCommerce sales are just a few trends shaping the industry. The need for brands to stay on top of these changes and adopt innovations to reach consumers is essential. Advertisers are leveraging the power of mobile apps, using advanced technologies to influence purchase decisions and increase sales. As consumers continue seeking new ways to enjoy their favorite drinks, we expect to see even more changes in the alcohol industry in the coming years.
Want to stay on top of these alcohol trends like many of our partner brands? Contact us today!