Keeping pace with a fast-changing sector

At BradleyDyer we have experience across the whole alcohol sector including sprits, wine and beers. This includes brand launches, experiential events, design, digital media and advertising.

Our planning team keeps a constant watch on the latest consumer trends and market conditions. There are challenges facing the alcohol sector as consumer tastes and attitudes change, but most of these are accompanied by plenty of opportunities for new products, branding and experiences.

Market conditions

It’s a mixed picture – solid growth is expected over the next five years as buoyant consumer conditions support demand, but the continued dominance of the supermarkets will constrain revenue growth. Falling per capita consumption is likely to weigh on sales, but the increasing taste for specialist alcoholic drinks should offset this, with strong sales of premium and independently produced beer, wine and cider benefiting wholesalers. Rising sales of premium products should improve industry profitability and attract new players into the market. Industry revenue is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 2% over the five years through 2020-21 to reach £15.8 billion.

Trends

Emerging trends reflect changing consumer attitudes to alcohol, with consumption falling, socialising at home rising and a desire for something different growing. Consumers enjoy seeking out something special, whether that is craft beer, gin, whiskey or limited editions; drinking locally sourced products; or wanting more of an experience when they do go out. The boundaries between on and off-trade are also diminishing, with retailers serving drinks and restaurants and bars offering sales.

Health organisations and lobbies are increasingly focusing on alcohol, which could lead to greater regulation and taxation, while the sugar backlash has fed a growing interest in sugar-free cocktails and lower calorie/ABV wine. UK grocery shoppers spent £181.8m on Prosecco in 2014 versus £141.3m on Champagne, so despite cutbacks, consumers still want affordable treats.

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