Description

This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the US Trending Flavors and Ingredients in Alcoholic Beverages market including market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the Trending Flavors and Ingredients in Alcoholic Beverages market in the US.

Current market landscape

From 2020-21, the share of consumers going out of their way to try new flavors has dropped by five percentage points (to 18%), and the share that sometimes do so declined by eight percentage points (to 50%). This reflects not only the challenges to the category during the pandemic, but also the need to actively re-engage with consumers now and nurture their appetite for more diverse flavors.

The pandemic drove down on-premise sales, where many discover new flavors and ingredients, but drove up demand for Ready to Drink (RTD) cocktails, as well as at-home experimentation and online shopping. While on-premise sales have been rebounding, other pandemic-related shifts in behavior, such as more online shopping or a greater concern with health and safety, will have longer-term repercussions.

Beyond the uncertainty of the pandemic, category challenges include the tendency of younger generations to be consuming less alcohol in general, which is part of a broad-based interest in greater health and wellness. This, together with consumer interest in sustainability, will shape the category beyond the pandemic.

Future market trends in US Trending Flavors and Ingredients in Alcoholic Beverages

There is opportunity for bars and restaurants to re-engage consumers with new tastes ranging from popular fruity and dessert flavors to more nuanced savory, spicy and floral tastes. Off-premise, opportunity lies in more innovative, functional RTDs as well as via online retailers, subscription services and influencers. Focus should be on Gen Z, Millennials, parents and more affluent consumers, who consume more varieties and have more expansive tastes and more enthusiasm for innovation.

Read on to discover more about the US Trending Flavors and Ingredients in Alcoholic Beverages consumer market, read our US Wine Market Report 2021, or take a look at our other Drinks Market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the alcoholic beverages market.
  • Flavor innovation opportunities.
  • Attitudes and behaviors regarding alcoholic beverage flavors.
  • Current and future flavor trends within the category.

Covered in this report

Brands include: BuzzBallz, Loverboy, Cutwater, Crook & Marker, Elenita, The Finnish Long Drink Legend of 1952, Tupps Brewery, Sandbox Brewing Company, Corona, Vizzy, Lavery Brewing Company, Drake’s Organic, Skatter Brain, Full Circle Brewing Co, Bud Light, Crowns & Hops Brewing Co, 903 Brewers Cerealist Series, Saloon Door Brewing, King’s Creek, Plain Spoke, Southern Tier, Twelve5 Rebel, Smirnoff, Revolver Brewing, Abita, Chateau Ste Michelle, Barefoot, Boutique Rose Water, WineWater, Myx Fusions, Wild Arc, Better Rhodes.

Categories include: Beer, cider, white spirits, dark spirits, RTD alcoholic beverages/flavored alcoholic beverages (including malt, wine and spirit-based premixed beverages), wine, liqueur.

Flavors include: citrus, tropical, berry, chocolate, vanilla, honey, caramel, hibiscus, lavender, salt, tomato, smoky, spicy, basil, thyme, kombucha.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Amanda Topper, a leading analyst in the Drinks sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Flavor exploration overall, and especially through bars and restaurants, fell during the pandemic, but is reviving, as on-premise consumption gradually returns. Opportunities are strong to continue to engage consumers online, and with new RTD offerings, as well as with functional and lower-alcohol drinks. Interest in new flavors is strongest with Gen Z, Millennials, parents and affluent consumers, and growth will require responding to their interests, tastes and lifestyle.
Amanda Topper, Director – US Research
Amanda Topper
Director, US Research

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
          • Market context
            • Economic and other assumptions
              • COVID-19: US context
              • Executive Summary

                  • Top takeaways
                    • Market overview
                      • Figure 1: Total US sales and forecast of alcoholic beverages, by type of alcoholic beverage, at current prices, 2015-21
                    • Impact of COVID-19 on alcoholic beverages
                      • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on alcoholic beverages, November 2021
                    • Challenges and opportunities
                      • Flavor exploration fell during the pandemic and remains sluggish
                        • Figure 3: Interest in new flavors, May 2020 vs July 2021
                      • New menu items plummet in 2020, but are on the rebound
                        • Figure 4: Alcoholic beverage flavors by time period, percent change in menu items for Q2 from 2018-21
                      • A range of flavor preferences creates opportunities for specific consumers, occasions
                        • Figure 5: Preferred alcoholic beverage flavors, 2021
                      • Gen Z and Millennials drive interest in emerging alcoholic beverages
                        • Figure 6: Drinks interested in trying, by generation, 2021
                      • Opportunities with Millennials in flavor innovation and low-alcohol options
                        • Figure 7: Alcohol attitudes and behaviors, by generation, 2021
                    • The Market – Key Takeaways

                      • After falling in 2020, stronger sales seen across categories in 2021
                        • Shifts in behavior, purchasing and flavor exploration created by pandemic
                          • Broad-based changes in drinking habits connect to wider trends
                          • State of the Market

                            • Recovery is on the horizon across segments
                              • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of alcoholic beverages, by type of alcoholic beverage, at current prices, 2015-21
                            • Off-premise consumption, which soared in 2020, continues at high level
                              • Figure 9: Share of US sales of alcoholic beverages, by location of consumption, at current prices, 2015-21 (est)
                          • Market Factors

                            • More at-home drinking means less experimentation at bars and restaurants
                              • Figure 10: Sales of food at home and away from home, 2010-21
                            • Delta shakes consumer confidence and extends foodservice disruptions
                              • Figure 11: Coronavirus life disruption concern, any worried, April 2021-October 2021
                              • Figure 12: Activity comfort level, any comfortable, April 2021-October 2021
                            • Uncertain economic growth and shaky consumer confidence
                              • Figure 13: US Unemployment, January 2007-September 2021
                              • Figure 14: US Consumer Confidence, January 2007–September 2021
                            • Supply chain issues also compound challenges for alcohol market
                              • Changes in drinking habits connect to wider trends
                                • Figure 15: Consumption of any alcoholic beverages, 1996-2021*
                                • Figure 16: Mean number of drinks consumed in past seven days, among respondents who drink alcohol, 1996-2021*
                              • Broader trends connect personal wellness to sustainability, environment
                              • Market Opportunities

                                • More online sales, at-home experimentation and looking to influencers
                                  • Opportunities for innovation with restaurants, and for RTDs at home
                                    • Engage consumers on premise with varied, nuanced flavors beyond basic fruits
                                      • Figure 17: Alcoholic beverage flavors by time period, percent change in menu items for Q2 from 2018-21
                                    • RTDs can expand with taste and convenience in mind
                                      • Focus on women in particular with fruity, lighter and low calorie RTDs
                                        • Offer more premium offerings, with nuanced tastes and quality ingredients
                                        • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                          • Overarching wellness trends are reflected in trending claims, flavors
                                            • Fruit flavors lead and are centerpieces in a wide variety of drinks
                                              • Indulgent dessert flavors also abound in beers, ales and spirits
                                                • Sustainability and eco-friendly practices will be in higher demand
                                                  • Growing demand for innovative low- to no-alcohol offerings
                                                  • Product Development – Now – What’s Trending

                                                    • Alcoholic drinks go all natural
                                                      • Figure 18: Share of new product launches in alcoholic beverages, by ingredient claim (natural, organic), 2018-2021 (rolling years, September-August)
                                                      • Figure 19: Share of new product launches in alcoholic beverages, by claim (gluten free, low/no allergens), 2018-2021 (rolling years, September-August)
                                                      • Figure 20: Share of new product launches in alcoholic beverages, by flavor group (fruit & vegetable, herbs & spices, beverage), 2018-21 (rolling years, September-August)
                                                    • Fruit flavors lead in new drinks on menu and at retail
                                                      • Figure 21: Share of alcoholic beverage flavors other than “unflavored/plain” on menu items, in Q2 2021
                                                      • Figure 22: Preferred alcoholic beverage flavors – leading fruit flavors, 2021
                                                    • Dessert flavors found in a variety of cocktails, beers and spirits
                                                      • Figure 23: Preferred alcoholic beverage flavors – leading indulgent flavors, 2021
                                                    • Coffee and seasonal flavors bring indulgence and fun to ales and beers
                                                      • Smoky, savory and spicy notes lend nuance to spirits and depth to ales
                                                        • Figure 24: Preferred alcoholic beverage flavors – savory, smoky, herbal and spicy notes, 2021
                                                    • Product Development – Near – What to Watch For

                                                      • Innovation in wine with fruit flavors, RTDs
                                                        • Wine with different fruits, including more tropical flavors
                                                          • Wine waters and fruit-flavored wine spritzers and wine seltzers
                                                          • Product Development – Next – What’s in the Pipeline

                                                            • Sustainable practices in production and distribution
                                                              • Growing demand for more expansive low- to no-alcohol offerings
                                                                • Gen Z and Millennials want new flavors and functions in alcohol-free drinks
                                                                  • Figure 25: Attributes sought in alcohol-free cocktails, by generation, 2021
                                                              • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                • Strong category engagement from Millennials, parents, affluent consumers
                                                                  • Flavor exploration falls as pandemic limits away-from-home consumption
                                                                    • Functional ingredients, cocktail-inspired flavors drive interest in alcohol-free drinks
                                                                      • Brands can target consumers with focus on flavor, drink and occasion
                                                                      • Consumption Frequency of Alcoholic Beverages

                                                                        • Despite long-term declines in consumption, there is still a substantial base of alcoholic beverage consumers
                                                                          • Figure 26: Frequency of consumption of alcoholic beverages, 2021
                                                                        • Men are core drinkers, women more likely to be receptive to zero proof beverages
                                                                          • Figure 27: Frequency of consumption of alcoholic beverages, by gender, 2021
                                                                        • BFY alcoholic beverages are key to engaging more Gen Zs
                                                                          • Figure 28: Frequency of consumption of alcoholic beverages, by generation, 2021
                                                                        • Parents drink more – and more often – than those without kids
                                                                          • Figure 29: Frequency of consumption of alcoholic beverages, by parental status
                                                                        • Marketing shifts are needed to attract more diverse drinkers
                                                                          • Figure 30: Frequency of consumption of alcoholic beverages, by race, 2021
                                                                          • Figure 31: Frequency of consumption of alcoholic beverages, by Hispanic origin, 2021
                                                                        • Adventure Eaters stand out as regular, heavier drinkers
                                                                          • Figure 32: Frequency of consumption of alcoholic beverages, by food and beverage segmentation, 2021
                                                                      • Flavor Exploration in Alcoholic Beverages

                                                                        • Flavor exploration declines in 2021 as pandemic has shaped behaviors
                                                                          • Figure 33: Interest in new flavors, May 2020 vs July 2021
                                                                        • Flavor innovation appeals to Millennial consumers
                                                                          • Figure 34: Interest in new flavors, by generation, 2021
                                                                        • Income drives interest in innovation
                                                                          • Figure 35: Interest in new flavors, by household income, July 2021
                                                                        • Parents eager for new flavors
                                                                          • Figure 36: Interest in new flavors, by parental status, 2021
                                                                        • Adventure Eaters go out of their way to try new flavors
                                                                          • Figure 37: Interest in new flavors, by food and beverage segments, 2021
                                                                      • Alcoholic Beverage Attitudes and Behaviors

                                                                        • Provide foodservice flavor experiences at home
                                                                          • Figure 38: Alcohol attitudes and behaviors, 2021
                                                                        • Women seek drinks at restaurants they can’t create at home
                                                                          • Figure 39: Alcohol attitudes and behaviors, by gender, 2021
                                                                        • Innovative low-/no-alcohol drinks are key to engaging with younger generations
                                                                          • Figure 40: Alcohol attitudes and behaviors, by generation, 2021
                                                                      • Alcoholic Beverage Trial Interest

                                                                        • Interest in classic drinks is high, but opportunity lies in new flavor and ingredient varieties
                                                                          • Figure 41: Drinks interested in trying, 2021
                                                                        • Target women with fruity cocktails; men with straight spirits or beer
                                                                          • Figure 42: Drinks interested in trying, by gender, 2021
                                                                        • Millennials and Gen Z are thirsty for unique alcoholic drinks
                                                                          • Figure 43: Drinks interested in trying, by generation, 2021
                                                                      • Attributes Sought in Alcohol-free Drinks

                                                                        • Opportunity for growth in premium, complex mocktails
                                                                          • Figure 44: Attributes sought in alcohol-free drinks, 2021
                                                                        • Leverage claims to reach unique consumer groups
                                                                          • Figure 45: TURF analysis – alcohol-free drinks, July 2021
                                                                        • Target men with alcohol-free options featuring functional benefits for recovery, rehydration
                                                                          • Figure 46: Attributes sought in alcohol-free drinks, by gender, 2021
                                                                        • Gen Z and Millennials eager for a range of functional attributes
                                                                          • Figure 47: Attributes sought in alcohol-free drinks, by generation, 2021
                                                                        • Parents may be prime consumers for functional alcohol-free cocktails
                                                                          • Figure 48: Attributes sought in alcohol-free drinks, by parental status, 2021
                                                                      • Preferred Alcoholic Beverage Flavors

                                                                        • Consumers enjoy variety, but fruit flavors lead
                                                                          • Figure 49: Preferred alcoholic beverage flavors, July 2021
                                                                        • Younger generations eager for favor variety
                                                                          • Figure 50: Preferred alcoholic beverage flavors, by generation, July 2021
                                                                        • Adventure Eaters embrace flavors beyond fruity
                                                                          • Figure 51: Preferred alcoholic beverage flavors, by food/beverage segment, 2021
                                                                          • Figure 52: Preferred alcoholic beverage flavors, by beer and wine purchases, 2021
                                                                        • Distinct flavor interests match preferred drink choice
                                                                          • Figure 53: Preferred alcoholic beverage flavors, by spirit and other alcoholic beverage purchases, 2021
                                                                        • Flavor preferences guide types of drinks consumers want to try
                                                                          • Figure 54: Preferred alcoholic beverage flavors, by beverage type trial interest, 2021
                                                                          • Figure 55: Preferred alcoholic beverage flavors, by beverage type trial interest, 2021
                                                                      • Interest in Flavors by Occasion

                                                                        • Consumers associate fruity, citrus flavors with summer, outdoors and daytime
                                                                          • Figure 56: Interest in mainstream flavors, by occasion, 2021
                                                                        • Emerging flavors can support drinks associated with specific occasions
                                                                          • Figure 57: Interest in emerging flavors, by occasion, July 2021
                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                          • Sales data
                                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                • Abbreviations

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