Bacardi Limited released its third annual Bacardi Cocktail Trends Report, looking ahead at the key trends impacting the business of cocktails in 2022. The report is created in collaboration with The Future Laboratory (TFL) and draws from Bacardi-led and external research to unveil the undercurrents transforming everything from drinks desired, flavor expectations, and imbibing occasions through to ethical action and ways of creating cocktails.
“As 2022 brings new perspective, people are coming together with a strong desire to ‘Make Moments Matter. At Bacardi, we are driven by this purpose – with a family of premium spirit brands that are uniquely positioned to evoke emotions, catalyze experiences, and play an integral role in fostering connections, encouraging celebration, and enabling exploration,” says Tony Latham, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Bacardi. “What the world needs today is not a return to a ‘new normal,’ and we will play our part instead in creating the new extraordinary.”
Here are the macro-trends defining how, what, where, and why consumers are sipping spirits in 2022:
Luxury libations. Discerning attitudes are emerging among new alcohol connoisseurs, who are seeking out high-quality drink experiences – driving another wave of premiumization across spirit categories, including in the canned format of premium prepared cocktails. With 50% of bartenders globally reporting that their customers are drinking more premium drinks, this represents an evolution in bar-goers’ behavior since the start of the pandemic.
Bartenders and consumers alike are exhibiting excitement for tequila, bourbon, and cognac, where category premiumization, exclusivity, and the hand-crafted nature of the spirit are driving intrigue and desire. Demand for tequila is driven by the shift in how it's perceived – from a party spirit to sophisticated sipping serve, and the mixability of the spirit that has made it a base for popular cocktails, such as the margarita, old fashioned, negroni, and paloma.
Digital drinking. Cocktail enthusiasts continue to harness technology to master domestic mixology from the comfort of their homes while having spirits delivered directly to their doors. Much of the current growth in e-commerce is being driven by the U.S., with more than 65 percent of consumers in the country using an online service to purchase alcohol.
Seeking sustainability. The coming year will see consumers demand innovative, ethical, long-term solutions that deliver real social change. With the growing importance of enterprises that empower communities and fuel localism, hyper-local delivery will go mainstream as consumers seek to balance their desire for convenience with a quest for sustainable solutions.
Sustainability remains a primary concern of consumers across the globe. But while recyclability and zero-waste cocktails formed the thrust of sustainable action this year, 2022 will see more initiatives shaped by a focus on how spirits are made, with a vast majority of people now willing to pay more for ethically sourced regenerative refreshments.
Consumption reconsidered. People are exploring new flexible approaches to sobriety while favoring unique cocktails and spirits when they decide to drink. There’s a rise in sober-curious consumers, happy to switch between sober nights and drinking occasions, with 58 percent globally drinking more non-alcoholic and low-ABV cocktails (NoLo) than a year ago.
A conscious attitude is influencing a shift toward natural selections in 2022 with one-third of people in the U.S. and half in the U.K. seeing natural ingredients as a factor in their cocktail choices, a trend that’s beginning to sway the way consumers imbibe in emerging markets.
Transformative times. Across the globe, a wealth of pent-up demand for social interactions will drive people to seek out cocktail experiences that deliver transformation, celebrate the power of social connection, embrace new experiences, and strive for learning and personal growth. As these consumers return to bars, they’re expecting to be wowed by cocktail experience as many go into 2022 with a sense of mindfulness around making each moment more meaningful.
In an industry-first report, CGA’s On Premise Cocktails provides an overview of the dynamics of the cocktail category. It reveals that the most popular cocktail across states by value velocity is the Margarita, followed by the Moscow Mule and the Martini.
This new and exclusive research provides suppliers and operators with sales-led insights to shape their cocktail offering, create unique sales stories and support national account conversations. One in four (26 percent) consumers said they drink cocktails when visiting the On Premise, and the average price of a cocktail is $11, with an average check value of $75. This highlights a huge opportunity to capture this already-engaged audience and attract new customers with brand, programming and activation initiatives.
The report also uncovers that over a 12-week period, cocktails earn the average outlet $9,570 and over half of all cocktail value comes from sales in the early evening, with the average outlet earning $5,269 in this period. This demonstrates the considerable value cocktails have as a key category for spirit suppliers, accounting for a significant proportion of spirits sales.
Delivering On Premise teams with an overview of the cocktail category landscape, the report also confirms which out of the top 30 cocktails have the highest velocity, when and where consumers are drinking them, at what price point and where the opportunities for your brands lie within this space.
“This initial report and cocktail sales tracker offering, which has been five years in the making, is essential for suppliers and operators seeking to measure and understand the size of the prize of the cocktail category, how this translates into brand opportunities and help drive sales to ensure maximum revenue returns,” said Matthew Crompton, Client Solutions Director, CGA-Americas. “Unlocking this level of insight by region, outlet type and day part is needed for businesses to deliver a truly data-led and effective cocktail strategy.”