The biggest liquor trends for 2020

Liquor trends change from year to year based on the latest fads and consumer interests. And this year, the alcohol sector has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic (Cue alcohol ban). Payflex takes a closer look at 6  liquor trends that are defining how we drink in 2020, as well as how the pandemic has further accelerated them. 

1.Alcohol-free drinks

With the growing trend towards health and wellness, consumers between the ages of 21 and 35 are drinking less, according to Gartner. Data analytics firm Nielsen found a younger demographic is leading a shift towards alcohol-free drinks with sales of ‘nolo’ (no- and low-alcohol) beverages rising by 32.5% in March. Similarly, the global non-alcoholic beverage market is expected to reach a record value of $1,650.28 billion by 2024.

2.Ready-to-drink alcohol

One of the hottest liquor trends this year is ready-to-drink alcohol, as more time-pressed consumers are drawn to its convenience. The ready-to-drink cocktail is, after all, the ideal solution—just open, and pour. The overall category of ready-to-drinks has grown 80% from April 2019 to April 2020, according to Nielsen.

3.Ditching the pub for the couch

The biggest liquor trend of 2020 is definitely the rise in the at-home consumption of spirits. According to Nielsen, the “homebody mentality” created during COVID-led lockdown restrictions is continuing to drive an at-home drinking trend. As a result of increased hygiene concerns around the virus,  more consumers have ditched bars and pubs in favour of  smaller, socially distanced groups in their homes. 

4.A rosé future for prosecco

Sparkling wine has been the fastest-growing wine category  across the globe over the last 25 years. One of the key drivers of this demand is prosecco, with more people passing on wine in favour of this Italian fizz. In 2018, Italian wine producers bottled roughly 600 million bottles of Prosecco. Its affordability is one of the main factors behind its phenomenal demand. 

5. Home-made brews

This liquor trend is definitely uniquely South African! As consumers attempted to find ways around  government’s alcohol ban, pineapples and yeast flew off store shelves. Many retailers even reported stock shortages of these items. According to Google South Africa, overall search teams related to South Africa’s alcohol ban spiked by over 500% the week leading up to Easter. Additionally, the company said the Free State, North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo showed the highest interest in homemade liquor during lockdown.  

6. Sustainability

COVID-19 aside, the climate change crisis is high on our agenda of concerns. A growing number of beverage companies are  waking up to these environmental concerns and taking the green path towards sustainability. As a result, there’s been an explosion of sustainable spirits, wine and beer on the market in recent years. In addition, there’s also been a growing movement towards eco-friendly and compostable packaging.