As we enter the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic, the wine and spirits industry has adapted and pivoted as the overall economy adapted to lockdowns and re-openings. In fact, there have been many innovations in the spirits industry – batched cocktails to go and e-commerce sales, as well as rise in the consumers experimenting with different spirits and cocktails at home.
“From March to September 2020, there has been $41.9 billion dollars in liquor store sales, representing an increase of 20 percent and 18 percent compared to the same period in 2019 and the previous seven-month period, August to February 2020, respectively,” according to the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health,
Allen Marketing Communications, Inc., a NYC boutique wine, spirits and lifestyle public relations agency, spotlights key wine and spirits trends this year.
Sparkling wine is made from grapes, as the foundation in still wine and a mixture of yeast and sugars to produce carbon dioxide” which creates the bubbly effect,” according to Wine Turtle.
There is a little known fact – all champagnes are sparkling wines. However, not all sparkling wines are considered champagne and this is because the grapes used to create the sparkline wine grows in France, Spain, Italy and Australia.
According to off-premise sales data from Nielsen, “the sparkling wine category grew by more than 13 percent among American drinkers over the past two years—an upward momentum that shows no sign of abating anytime soon, even with the threat of Champagne shortages and price hikes.”
Sparkling wine line extensions include apples, pears, citrus, strawberry, as well as cream and vanilla flavors. During the pandemic, sparkling wines are trending as wine to have all year long and not just for special occasions.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an explosion of consumers experimenting with a plant-based diet as a natural way to boost one’s immunity naturally. The wine industry has also jumped on the plant-based bandwagon especially as it pertains to elements used in the production of wine.
It may seem an oxymoron to call wines vegan. However, not all wines are vegan and this has to do with the production of the wines.
“Some winemakers still use traditional animal-derived “fining” agents such as egg whites, gelatin, or casein (derived from milk) to clarify the liquid, reduce bitterness, or bind and extract excess tannins in red wines, leaving behind softer ones. The agents are removed before bottling, but their use is still a vegan no-no,” according to Time.
The growing trend is to use “animal-free alternatives, such as bentonite, a form of clay, that are more commonly used” in wine making. (Source: Time) In fact, there is a trend to classify wines as vegan friendly to showcase the all natural plant-based items.
Tequila is made from a blue agave plant in Mexico. Tequila is becoming more trendy especially as older Gen Zers come of age and Millennials experiment with this spirit in cocktails.
According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, “agave spirits have overtaken rum as the third‐ largest spirits category in the US. E‐commerce alcohol platform Drizly expects Tequila to surpass vodka this year.”
In fact, several celebrities have endorsed tequila as their spirit of choice helping to make this spirit trendy.
The Covid-19 pandemic has also inspired liquor store retailers to be creative with its marketing strategies to inspire consumers to shop online for their beer, wine and spirits. Rules vary by state as it pertains to shipping alcohol across state lines.
Despite this fact, major spirit brands are investing in apps to facilitate the on demand market for spirits. “IWSR Drinks Market Analysis has also predicted that the value of alcohol e‐commerce will grow in global markets in the five years to 2025,” according to the Spirit Business.
“The US is set to become the biggest market for online alcohol by 2025. As the space becomes more competitive, it is likely companies will strengthen their online offerings through streamlined systems and on‐demand services, while catering to the demand for personalized products,” according to the Spirit Business
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By Joanna Allen, chief executive officer, Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.