This year—2022—marked the 12th year in a row that the US spirits industry saw major expansion. Globally, over the next five years, we can expect the industry to grow by 7.58%. If you work in spirits, you already know: the future is bright and very busy. As a labels and packaging partner to many spirits companies, we know how it is. This is a market that moves quickly and is acutely sensitive to trends. So, getting a piece of that growth pie means positioning your spirits brand at the forefront of these trends. Here are spirits trends defining the industry in 2022.
The Rise of Whisky and Tequila
The class of 2022 definitely has a homecoming king and queen: whisky and tequila. These are the spirits that are really exciting spirits drinkers this year.
In the world of whisky, an increased number of distilleries worldwide and greater demand for premium drinks in emerging nations is fuelling growth. Whisky is often associated with sophisticated taste, so socialites all over the world are eager to embrace this liquor as a favourite. Cocktail-loving younger consumers are also getting on board with new, sweeter, mix-friendly whiskeys like Johnnie Walker Blonde on the market.
Tequila is experiencing its own major milestones this year. In the US market, spirits made from agave have beat out rum as the third biggest spirits category. Tequila’s surging popularity has major companies investing more heavily in the spirit, and celebrities like Kendall Jenner are creating their own brands. Like whisky, tequila is being featured more often in unique cocktails, making it an appealing choice for many demographics.
Climate Change Spurring Sustainability
There aren’t many industries that aren’t heavily impacted by climate change, and the spirits industry is certainly no exception. For only one example, rum production will definitely be impacted by rising sea levels, since its main ingredient—sugarcane—mainly grows at sea level.
That’s why many spirits producers are getting ahead of the curve while making a statement about their commitment to sustainability. Green initiatives come in many forms—including lighter bottles, eco-friendly materials (ask us about this!), locally sourced casks, and investments into environmental protection. Corporations like Pernod Ricard and Diageo are choosing to package their brands, which include Beefeater, Plymouth Gin, and Gordon’s Gin, using eco-friendly materials and designs. As these major brands start touting sustainability as a major value, smaller brands will definitely follow suit.
E-Commerce in an Unpredictable World
COVID-19 has been a major wake-up call for all of us. The world has never been a more unpredictable place to do business.
When the hospitality industry was virtually shut down during the darkest stretches of the pandemic, brands with good e-commerce capabilities did extremely well. Drizly, a company that focused on selling alcohol online, grew 300% over the course of the pandemic.
Now, consumers are much more accustomed to ordering alcohol online, and major companies are catering to this new reality. For example, the firms Campari Group and Moët Hennessy recently created a partnership to build a top-shelf European e-commerce business focused on wines and spirits. (We also have a lot of experience in creating packaging geared towards e-commerce; feel free to reach out with questions you might have!)
The spirits industry is nothing if not dynamic, so expect these trends to spin off into countless other ones. As the industry continues to evolve, we’ll continue learning a lot from our clients…and we love sharing that knowledge. Here’s to spirits, a fun, creative, and ever-changing industry that keeps us on our toes as it enhances our celebrations!