What cocktail trends are hot for 2020? Think mindful drinking, culinary methods and sustainability. The Bacardi 2020 Cocktail Trends Report highlights trends based on insights captured from a survey Bacardi ran with bartenders and bar ambassadors in 2019, as well as third-party research from consumer insights firms.
Among the key findings are:
- Mindful drinking goes mainstream, with 83 percent of bartenders citing that low-alcohol drinks are hot and an increase of 42 percent in the online searches with the word 'mocktail' in 2019. (Technomic Behind the Bar Insights, 2019 and Google Trends, 2019)
- Natural products are in the spotlight with 31 percent of bartenders increasingly interested in local, fresh ingredients. (Global Brand Ambassador Survey (GBAS), 2019)
- The culinary cocktail trend borrows methods and techniques from the kitchen and champions fresh, seasonal, savory and herbal ingredients – 91 percent of bartenders use vegetables in their cocktails, and 68 percent of American Culinary Federation members rated culinary cocktail as a 'hot trend' last year. (Technomic Behind the Bar Insights, 2019)
- Dark rum is leading the premium game – 43 percent of bartenders ranked it as the top spirit to premiumize. (GBAS, 2019)
- Sustainability is at the forefront of every consumer's mind, and it's reflected in the bar – 66 percent of bartenders mention that sustainable drinks are hot right now. (Technomic Behind the Bar Insights, 2019)
- Ready-To-Drink (RTD) cocktails are here to stay, reflecting the overarching demand for consistent and convenient well-crafted cocktails beyond the bar – there was a 26 percent increase of vodka soda and flavored RTDs in North America last year. (GBAS, 2019)
- 38 percent of Americans prefer to make their cocktails at home, and the industry has quickly adapted, offering consumers myriad ways to facilitate at-home imbibing, from home cocktail kits to AI-recommended recipes. (Mintel, 2019)
Click here to access the complete Bacardi 2020 Cocktail Trends Report.
To learn more, this week, 7,000 Bacardi employees across the globe will turn on their “out of office” message to go out on the town and visit bars in more than 100 cities, all in the name of spotting what’s new and next for cocktails. The activity, called Back to the Bar, brings everyone at Bacardi together for a day of “barstool research” with bartenders who are the trend spotters and tastemakers of the spirits business and a direct link to consumers. According to Nielsen CGA, 40 percent of revenue in bars is influenced by bartenders as they are the go-to experts to help you pick your drink.
"Back to the Bar tradition is a time when everyone across the company, regardless of day job, becomes an ambassador and a researcher by going back to where our business is made – the local bars and restaurants," said Mahesh Madhavan, CEO of family-owned Bacardi Limited. "We are in the relationship business and I never miss an opportunity to talk to a bartender or our consumers to learn what they’re seeing and what they think will be the next big thing.”
“In an era where people are flooded with data, there is no substitute for putting feet on the street and seeing first-hand what’s happening at the bar," added Jacob Briars, Global Advocacy Director at Bacardi. “When something excites the bartenders, we know that it is a matter of time before we start to see a shift in the mindset and behavior of our guests.”