What are our tips for 2024 drink trends? Some things never change in the ever-evolving drinks industry and one of them is some drinks trends capturing the imagination of both bartenders and the man on the street. We think this is part of what makes the food and drink industries so appealing, they are constantly evolving, pushing the limits and being agile to consumers’ changes in habit.
Over the years we have seen it all. An explosion in celebrity-owned drinks brands, chilled red wine, gin coming out of the shadows to dominate the spirits landscape for over ten years and many other trends have come and gone. With 2023 flying by, we wanted to have a look ahead to see what might be in store.
With the help of our team, industry experts, a look at what’s happening in the USA and a little help from trend software we’ve uncovered what we think will be the drinks trends 2024.
So What Are The 2024 Drink Trends?
1. Asian Flavours
2024 drinks trends kick off with products and flavours from the Far East. We think there is going to be a big year for Asian flavours in both new product releases and cocktails in the UK. It makes sense really, the Brits are more than partial to Asian flavours such as ginger, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what’s on offer flavour-wise from the Far East.
That coupled with the emergence of eastern spirits such as Baiju, Sake and Mekhong as well as relatively unknown but highly versatile fruits such as Yuzu, it’s only a matter of time before Asian flavours start trending big time across cocktails and drinks in general.
In the case of Yuzu, searches are up 209% over the last 5 years in the USA and nearly all trends that gather steam across the pond end up in the UK. An RTD brand Sake Sling tick all the boxes of this projected trend as well as having won the World’s Best RTD award this year.
2. Tea Cocktails
Tea particularly flavoured tea is a cocktail-making gold mine waiting to happen. With the proliferation of some exceptional and incredibly diverse flavoured teas on the shelves in the UK, it’s only a matter of time before these infusions make their way onto cocktail menus.
Flavoured tea packs a big flavour without the sugar spike and given the demise of hard seltzers we think flavoured tea cocktails can fill a gap for low-calorie cocktails with a big flavour. Don’t believe us? Check out our recent collaboration with Black Cow Vodka where we blended a strawberry tea infusion with their English Strawberry Vodka.
The humble tea bag is super versatile too from a flavour perspective offering a wide range of flavour opportunities including smoky, fruity, spicy and herbaceous flavours. You heard it here first.
3. Tequila Again
It’s been doing the rounds in the drinks world that Tequila is going to continue to grow as a 2024 drinks trend. It has had a breakthrough few years in 2022 and 2023…and we can only see this trend gathering momentum.
And it makes great sense. Tequila has come on leaps and bounds in the last 10 years in the UK and it’s responsible for one of the world’s best-loved party cocktails the Margarita. After the gloom of the pandemic, people are in the mood to have fun again and tequila is the perfect partner.
The signs are there too. El Rayo Tequila in recent years has been the first tequila to be listed in retailers such as John Lewis, Daylesford and Liberty, as well as being the first £30+ premium tequila listing in Sainsbury’s ever.
4. Vegan First Drinks Menus
In 2024 drink trends could continue to move with the growth of plant-based food and drink. Veganism is not new but there are surprisingly few establishments that deliver drinks programmes with veganism in mind. In general, there are plenty of animal products donning drinks menus from milks and creams to drinks brands using animal products.
We suspect there are going to be more and more vegan drinks menus in the mainstream.
What does that look like? Well simply put it will mean venues develop menus using vegan brands as well as opting for plant-based alternatives to milks and creams. Vitally though, menus will start to state the dietary stance of the vegan cocktails and drinks as well as bartenders being far more clued up.
5. Spritz Goes Mainstream
Google Trends also tells us that searches for Spritz Cocktails have been growing year on year since 2015….today Spritz is already a pretty dominant force after Aperol Spritz took over summer globally for the last few years.
However, the humble spritz category will continue to diversify with new brands and flavour combinations hitting bars and shelves in a shop near you and becoming a 2024 drink trend. The rationale is simple, the spritz in many ways is the ideal drink. Consumer habits are definitely changing to be more conscious of what they drink and a lower alcohol alternative is that idea middle ground between boozy and abstinent.
Aside from this, culturally, the spritz induces a feeling of summer which is a big psychological pull. It makes sense that we’ll see far more spritz out there for consumers – Aperol surely can’t dominate the market forever.
6. Direct To Consumer Sales To See Continued Growth
One of the 2024 drink trends will surely be around consumer spending habits. D2C sales are not new but with a generally more experimental and mindful approach to what people are drinking, we feel there will continue to be big growth in online purchases of alcohol. This will be largely driven by supply and demand. Usual routes to market such as supermarkets don’t stock particularly interesting ranges of drinks and spirits and these are largely replicated across all of the major players.
With consumers now looking for new experiences in the drinking space, there will be an increase in the online D2c opportunity for drinks brands as well as through alternative routes to market such as Amazon. This was a key drive for us when we launched our cocktail ingredients shop – to offer non-mainstream brands that make great cocktails.