Drink Trends 2020: What Consumers Want
So, for the UK’s drinks industry, 2019 was all about wellness, zero waste and Instagrammable cocktails, but what does 2020 have in store?
We’ve looked into our crystal ball (of databases and reports) and used our in-depth industry knowledge gained from years establishing our award-winning cocktail bar brand to compile this nifty guide to the trending drinks of 2020… you’re welcome.
Largely covering three of the most important drinks topics, we’ve divided our findings into:
Our Soft Drink Trends 2020 section includes exciting developments in the wellness sphere as a result of the growing number of consumers seeking liquid supplements and abstaining from the sauce.
Head over to our Alcoholic Drink Trends 2020 section to read about how hard seltzers will charm Brits, the population’s continuing love for all-drinks-pink and to discover the new regions wine-lovers will be falling for.
And finally, our Sustainable Drink Trends 2020 section reveals how companies will look beyond food waste and single-use plastic as well as how they’ll better cater to the growing vegan population.
Soft Drink Trends 2020
In an anxious modern age, shoppers have become more attuned to what they’re putting in their bodies. As a result, consumers are quick to splash the cash on teeny tiny immunity-enhancing, brain-boosting, concentration-keeping drinks that promise to help their digestion, memory and more.
Nowadays, wellness is more accessible than ever, and we’ve no doubt that this will be one of the leading drink trends in 2020.
The Kombucha 2020 Drink Trend
A massive success in 2019, kombucha will remain at the forefront of the wellness 2020 drink trend. Preaching health benefits like detoxification, gut health and mood enhancement, this fermented tea has successfully won over a wave of health-conscious Brits.
Despite the significant lack of research on how kombucha benefits consumers’ health, the British population are lapping the drink up, and we don’t expect the kombucha craze to budge in 2020.
What new supplements can we expect to see added to the wellness drink trend in 2020?
Drinks containing collagen and dandelion root will promise to help consumers with their digestion and skin issues. And for productivity levels? Look out for wellness drinks containing nootropics with amino acids.
It’s no secret that frequent and excessive drinking is part of British culture and that the cocktail bar is often deemed the most important part of any event.
Heading to the pub for lunchtime pints with your colleagues is encouraged. Being unable to abstain for the duration of your six-day course of antibiotics is expected. And waking up full of regret after your Christmas party seems to be an annual occurrence for many.
All the while, going sober by choice… well, many people think the idea is utterly insane.
But, is all of this going to change?
Over the years, we’ve noticed our younger clients’ desires for alcohol-free beverages, like at Liz and Zie’s 21st birthday party.
This shift is supported by an Alcohol Change UK report which explains that while over 65s continue to drink in excess, with hospital admissions rising by 14% since 2008/09, the number of 16-44-year olds choosing sobriety has increased since 2005. The report also states that 16-24-year olds are the most likely group to abstain entirely.
So, why are young people becoming ‘sober curious’?
The wellness surge has resulted in young people educating themselves about the mental and physical health benefits of going sober.
It seems that nowadays drinking alcohol is less an expectation and more an option among younger groups. (We know. Mind. Blown.). Younger age groups are educating themselves about the mental and physical health benefits of going sober and drinking less or even taking the plunge to teetotalism. In fact, the reduced levels of drinking have even created a notion that abstaining from alcohol is cool.
So, how is this shift in thinking among the younger generations affecting the beverage industry in 2020?
Innovative Alcohol Alternatives
Simply put, more teetotallers means more alcohol-free alternatives.
A 2019 report forecast that the global non-alcoholic beverage market would be worth a record value of 18.05 billion euros by 2020. That’s 650 million more than the market’s 2019 worth.
From switchels to zero-alcohol cocktails, non-alcoholic drink ranges are expanding in 2020. High-end bars and restaurants are going above and beyond to offer a selection of alcohol alternatives, and new innovative brands are jumping at the opportunity to cater to this new group of wellness teetotallers.
For The Cocktail Service, this shift has meant we’ve started working with premium zero ABV lager brand Freestar and leaders in the non-alcoholic sphere like Amplify. And we’re always on the lookout for more inspiring alcohol alternatives.
Switch(el)ing Things Up
Switchels are switching things up a little. These fruity, sugary, cider-vinegary drinks are hitting premium pubs, bars and restaurants and we’re expecting them to be one of the trending drinks of 2020.
One switchel brand to watch is Jukes Cordialities.
London’s wine writer and Jukes Cordialities’ founder Matthew Jukes developed his premium adult cordials on the premise that there’s a severe lack of soft drinks that satisfy adults’ taste buds quite like a good ol’ glass of wine.
These sophisticated, flavoursome cordials were created to mirror ‘the generosity and build-quality of a fine wine’ by ‘building aromatic intrigue and a genuinely dry palate resulting in perfect balance’.
Having caught the eye of some of the capital’s top establishments, Jukes Cordialities’ is currently served at Central London’s members’ club 67 Pall Mall and Clapham’s Trinity.
As a nation that strongly identifies with boozing shifts toward alcohol-free alternatives, we’ve no doubt more drinking holes will be adding switchel brands like this one to their bars.
As well as containing no alcohol, Jukes Cordialities are only 18 calories a pop when mixed with soda, sparkling or still water, ensuring they truly adhere to the wellness 2020 drink trend.
Do you know how many calories are in your tipple of choice? Read all about it in our complete guide to calories in alcohol.
Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Trends 2020
In 2020, bars will offer the sober socialiser more than the choice of a Pepsi, a watered-down OJ or the door. We’re going to see more convoluted, alcohol-free concoctions that contain the same if not more intricacies than their alcohol counterparts.
Here at The Cocktail Service, we’re excited for our 2020 developments, where we’ll better cater to teetotallers, those partaking in Dry January and people reducing their alcohol consumption. Our newest menu will have a heavy focus on zero ABV cocktails that don’t compromise on flavour or aesthetics, like our delicious alcohol-free bramble.
What similar developments can we see across the industry?
London’s iconic Sketch told us they’d added four new, alcohol-free cocktails to their 2020 menus to cater to people who are “just generally watching their health this year”.
Sketch’s Ginger Nuts is an alcohol-free cocktail made up of Aecorn Aromatic, hazelnut syrup, kombucha, ginger ale, bitters and orange peel and rosemary to garnish.
Rich, smoky and strong on the palate and easy on the eye, this alcohol-free cocktail packs the punch of flavour you’d expect from an alcoholic cocktail.
Sketch isn’t the only bar putting considerable effort into their non-alcoholic drinks. As no-alcohol cocktails are becoming a major 2020 drinks trend, they’re pretty prominent on menus throughout our capital and in other large UK cities.
Alcohol Trends 2020
So, it’s 2020, and you’ve walked into a bar (ouch!), what alcoholic drink trends can you expect to see?
Wellness drinks don’t just come in the form of soft drinks. Hard seltzers, or spiked seltzers, are low calorie, low sugar boozy beverages that are made from water that is carbonated, flavoured with fruit and herbs and spiked with alcohol.
Hard seltzers have become a roaring success in the US, with more cans of seltzer having been sold on 4th July 2019 than canned wine and bottles of craft beer.
These grain-based bevs will hit the UK market in 2020 and, with an ABV of 4-6%, containing only 80-120 calories a pop and boasting ingredients like acai berries, we’re in no doubt that youthful wellness junkies will lap up this ‘healthier’ option.
Pink Drinks… Everywhere
Pink gin, Prosecco, cider, Champagne… the list goes on. Pink drinks are everywhere in the 2020 drinks world, and consumers can’t get enough.
Pink Prosecco’s Poppin’
Bibendum, a wine, spirits and craft beer distributor have analysed some of the UK’s most influential bars and restaurants to find the biggest alcohol drink trends in 2020. The findings showed that prosecco sales are continuously rising, and that ‘one in four consumers are regularly drinking pink’.
Meanwhile, the Guardian reported a drastic 28% decrease in Champagne sales over the last year, as consumers favour more affordable alternatives like sparkling wines. Despite the significant decrease in Champers’ popularity, market analyst CGA Strategy states that the French fizz’s pink counterpart has seen an increase in sales by 0.5%.
That’s a win for pink fizz everywhere!
Rosé is Here to Stay
Hooray for rosé! Over the last few years, consumers’ thirst for a pale rosé has increased, and this drink trend shows no signs of slowing in 2020.
In fact, we’re predicting the pink drink will generally be taken more seriously in this year due to the recent investments in the industry.
2019 saw two of the largest luxury brands invest in rosé vineyards. In December 2019, French conglomerate LVMH bought a 55% stake in Château d’Esclans and they’ve announced plans to grow the size of the vineyards. Earlier in the year, fashion house Chanel added to their portfolio of wine estates, acquiring Porquerolles’ Domaine de L’Ile, a specialist rosé vineyard.
So, rosé-lovers will be rejoicing this year as 2020 brings the introduction of some fine new pink wines.
New Grapes: Austrian and Italian
Each year, wine drinkers look to expand their wine knowledge, trying less-discovered grapes from the world’s less known wine regions. So, what grapes can we expect to see more of in 2020?
Austrian Wine Trend 2020
Austrian wines are commonplace on wine lists, and Bibendum predicts that this trend will only become more prevalent in 2020. The nation is best known for its Grüner Veltliner, but 2020 brings other, less commonly known indigenous grapes like Zweigelt to the mainstream menu. You might be seeing some Austrian bubbly on the wine list too!
Italian Wine Trend 2020
As for Italy, 2020 may well bring north-west Italy’s Barolo to a cellar near you!
Historically, Barolo has had a far more niche following than Bordeaux; however, more recently, wine lovers are heading to Piemonte’s misty valleys and adding Barolo to their collections.
The Death of Sickly-Sweet Sauce
The war on sugar continues in 2020, and this means consumers and mixologists are favouring sour and savoury flavours – including lime, blood orange, grapefruit, basil and lavender – over traditionally popular sweet ones.
Ginger lovers, rejoice! While ginger has been a popular drink flavour for some time, you can expect even more of the stuff this year.
Bars are becoming more inclusive and welcoming, tenders less snooty, and menus more readable.
London’s coolest bars are the ones exuding the most relaxed vibe, and we see this 2020 beverage trend showing no signs of slowing.
Better Drinking Experiences
That being said, this year consumers will be looking to gain a full experience when they head out for the evening. For our industry, this means upping the ante regarding taste sensations and aroma combinations.
Find out how hiring a professional mixologist will transform your next event.
Sustainable Drink Trends 2020
Like wellness, mindfulness is trending. Shoppers are becoming more concerned about how the products they buy are affecting the world, and as a result, they’re making a conscious effort to support sustainable consumerism. We’re expecting (and certainly hoping) the sustainability drink trend 2020 will be something quite spectacular.
Beyond Plastic: Sustainable Drinks Packaging Trends 2020
Plastic pollution is one of the most prevalent issues our world faces today, so it’s no surprise that sustainable drinking is on the top of consumers’ agendas. From prosecco on tap to canned cocktails, you’ll be seeing the revolution against plastic packaging gain more momentum in 2020.
More Businesses Saying “No” to Single-Use Plastics
At The Cocktail Service, sustainability has been at the forefront of our functionalities for several years, and from 2020 we are proud to have fully executed our Business Transformation Guide to Eliminate Single-Use Plastic.
This means, as of the start of this year, we have not used any single-use plastic whatsoever within our operations.
Want to follow suit? Here’s how you can:
Need more information? Check our PDF above for our five-step guide to going single-use plastic-free or see our bar consultancy services for game-changing coaching.
The canned drinks craze well and truly began in 2019.
Ideal for festivals, picnics and of course the environment, we’re expecting this drink trend to continue in 2020.
Edible and compostable packaging is possibly the coolest 2020 drink trend.
You’ll remember that Lucozade Ribena Suntory teamed up with sustainable packaging start-up Notpla and distributed 36,000 seaweed capsules at the London Marathon.
The edible packaging trend is no fad. The capsules were made from edible and biodegrade brown seaweed which doesn’t need fresh water and doesn’t compete with food crops. Pretty amazing, right?
Notpla plans to use their government funding to create machines that manufacture the seaweed capsules on-site at gyms and restaurants.
Other companies like Just Eat have already used the seaweed capsules to replace plastic sauce packets in their takeaways, and we’re expecting plenty more companies to turn to edible packaging in the 2020 revolt against plastic.
As part of their Unpacked scheme, Waitrose implemented sustainable refillable beer and wine stations last summer. A huge success, the system has been expanded to three stores. Will 2020 see other brands follow suit?
Beyond Waste: Sustainable Drink Trends 2020
Sustainable bars are replacing perishables with cordials, using local ingredients and reducing ice usage when shaking up their cocktails.
Our talented team of mixologists are forever working hard to update and tweak our sustainable, closed-loop cocktail menu to cater to new clients. Utilising all elements of each ingredient, we make use of citrus rinds in infusions and create all of our flavoured syrups and shrubs via cold infusion.
We can only expect more of our clients and favourite bars and restaurants to make developments to their waste programmes in 2020, as our current climate crisis continues. Read more about our crackdown on waste in our complete guide to sustainable cocktails and keep your eyes peeled for our 2020 waste developments.
Consumers Favouring Local Drinking
As part of the sustainability movement, conscious travellers are doing more than ditching long haul flights. Consumers are looking for everyday options to reduce their carbon footprint, which means many are also favouring local drinking holes.
In London in particular, we’re witnessing an influx of ‘neighbourhood pubs’ as exciting new ventures launch in the East. Bars and pubs that previously might have opened in central London are turning to more affordable suburbs like local drinking epicentre, Peckham.
We love this 2020 drink trend – it’s brilliant for the consumer, business and environment. And it makes stumbling home that little bit easier too.
According to a January 2020 finder.com survey, vegans make up 2.1% of the total UK population and finder anticipates that this group will almost double in size, growing to 4.15% of the population by the end of 2020.
“The biggest change statistically is veganism,” finder explains. “If the one million people who intend to become vegan this year do so, this would be an increase of 98% compared to last year.”
The beverage industry is reacting to this dietary shift by cutting animal products from their booze. Most notably, M&S, which has pledged to make all own-brand wines vegan by 2022.
It’s vital for all industry professionals to understand this 2020 drink trend. Read our full guide to vegan alcohol to stay in the know.
From more wellness drinks and innovative ways to please teetotallers to rosé all day (month and year) and edible packaging, it’s another exciting year for our fast-paced industry.
Industry leaders when it comes to implementing trends and finding new and innovative ways to deliver our clients’ projects, The Cocktail Service is proud to be at the centre of it all. Need an event planner for your next do? Looking for marketing and brand activation specialists? Contact us with your ideas; we’d love to run through them with you!