Spirits Trends 2022: Most Popular Alcohol Industry Trends & Statistics

From celebrity tequila brands, hard seltzers and low/no ABV beverages to sustainable packaging and alcohol delivery, learn about the spirits trends that are shaping 2022.

While alcohol industry trends for 2022 certainly include introducing bold new flavors to the market, there are also innovations happening in other areas of the industry. For example, producers are turning to more portable packaging and taking advantage of beer, wine and liquor delivery options. Consumers are also demanding more options when it comes to no and low ABV products. Keep reading to learn more about the spirits trends that are shaping 2022 and find inspiration for boosting your own business.  

2022 Beverage Trend Predictions

Tequila

The alcohol delivery platform Drizly found that 85% of beverage retailers will be stocking up on tequila in 2022. In just the past few years, tequila sales have increased by 13%. Meanwhile, vodka’s market share dropped by 2%. Traditionally, people are used to drinking tequila in cocktails like margaritas, but more consumers are beginning to realize that high-quality añejo and reposado tequilas are best enjoyed when sipped neat. Blanco tequilas mixed with club soda and some fresh lime juice make the perfect low-cal beverage and is quickly beginning to replace vodka sodas or vodka limes.  

The tequila trend is being propelled forward by some big-name celebrities. For example, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Teremana tequila, Kendall Jenner has introduced 818 tequila, and George Clooney who co-founded and sold  Casamigos for a billion dollars.. With that kind of star power operating in the tequila marketplace, it is a safe bet that tequila will continue its meteoric rise in popularity. 

Low ABV Drinks

In an effort to live a healthier lifestyle, many consumers around the world are practicing moderation when it comes to drinking, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to regularly enjoy a delicious beverage. Producers have responded with more low ABV and non-alcoholic options. In just the past year, sales of non-alcoholic beverages have jumped 33% to top out at $331 million

This 2022 spirits trend is being driven by Millennials and Gen Z drinkers who are focused on health. They are reshaping their relationship with alcohol and creating a sober-curious movement. Instead of binge drinking, more consumers are practicing mindfulness to reduce their intake and taking a break from drinking as a way to help achieve health goals. As a result of this change in the way people think about and consume alcohol, there has been major growth in the low ABV and non-alcoholic drinks category that shows no sign of stopping. In fact, this category of spirits is expected to grow an additional 35% by 2023.

Focus on Health

An increased focus on health has also led many consumers to seek out products with less sugar, lower ABVs, and beneficial additives like probiotics. This is leading to some truly interesting product creations that are taking healthy drinks from bland to inspiring. Just look at the success of St. Hildie’s spiked tincture tonic and hard kombucha and it is easy to see that this trend is bound to gain momentum in 2022.

Cocktails To-Go and Canned Cocktails

Many restaurant and bar businesses were able to survive the pandemic by offering to-go cocktails and these convenient drinks are becoming the new standard for restaurants. Alcohol suppliers  are also capitalizing on this trend by launching ready-to-drink cocktails like canned margaritas. This new type of drink is appealing to customers because it offers a convenient and easily recyclable vessel to drink cocktails out of These canned cocktails are especially useful poolside where the possibility of broken glass from other kinds of drinks is a hazard. You can expect this 2022 spirits trend to stick around.   

Hard Seltzers

The hard seltzer market has exploded in recent years. It is a highly competitive space, so producers are being forced to get creative with their flavors, so much so that you can expect to see practically any beverage type turned into a hard drink and sold at retailers. This year, there have been many new hard kombucha and ice tea seltzer brands entering the market. 

Alcohol Manufacturing Spirits Trends for 2022

More Supply Chain Issues

Supply chain problems have affected practically every industry and the alcohol sector is no exception. Issues have continued to escalate over the past two years and they are still ongoing. Everyone, from well-known brands to craft distilleries, has been affected by shipping and manufacturing delays, staffing shortages, and a short supply of shipping containers.

All this has made it difficult to secure basic supplies, including grain, bottles, and labels. Many producers have been forced to come up with creative solutions, including finding new ways to package products. For example, Wyoming Whiskey has had to temporarily replace their custom bottle with a stock one. 

On the upside, a lack of supply is causing people to discover new brands; when they can’t find the original product they are looking for, they turn to others to replace it. The other side of things is that shelves aren’t fully stocked a

Sustainable Packaging

Not only are consumers more focused on health, but they are also concerned about reducing waste from food and beverages. In particular, sustainable packing has become a leading factor in purchasing decisions. According to Trivium Packaging’s 2021 Global Buying Green Report, over two-thirds of consumers polled look for brands with recyclable packaging when they shop.

Even if a brand has a delicious product and a clean list of ingredients, that might not be enough to remain competitive. Other CPGs are reinventing the way they approach packaging and more beverage businesses will have to do the same in order to appease consumers.

Molson Coors has taken the lead in this movement by eliminating plastic rings in their packaging and replacing them with cardboard sleeves. At the moment, this has only affected products sold in the U.K., the company has set the long-term goal of getting rid of plastic rings altogether.  

Alcohol Delivery and Retail Trend Predictions for 2022

Alcohol Delivery

During the pandemic, many states decided to allow alcohol delivery in order to help businesses keep their doors open. Now that the country has entered a relatively normal period and businesses are open, there is still a demand for delivery of to-go cocktails and other alcoholic beverages. Many states loosened regulation with the expectation that it would be a temporary solution but in 14 states plus the District of Columbia, delivery of alcohol has become a permanent allowance. 

Customers continue to love the ability to use delivery apps like UberEats and GrubHub to order their favorite foods and drinks. This means that brands need to strategize how they can capture more consumers through this channel because delivery will be essential to increasing profits and retaining loyal customers. 

Rise of eCommerce

Another way that businesses responded to the pandemic was by moving sales online. Even alcohol brands started leveraging digital storefronts and it looks like this is another spirits trend that is here to stay. IWRS Drinks Market Analysis found that eCommerce sales of alcoholic beverages are expected to grow by at least 66% by 2025 for a total of $42 billion. From a global perspective, a full 25% of consumers order online. 

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Spirits Trends 2022 Wrapped Up

While businesses continue to experience difficulties, many of which are pandemic related, there is ultimately a lot of good news for the rest of 2022. Habits and consumer behaviors may have changed, but the spirits industry seems to be responding accordingly. For individual brands, now is the time to embrace the trends, create your niche and find a way to connect with consumers.     

FAQs

What are the predicted alcohol beverage trends in 2022?

For a quick summary, tequila, hard seltzers, and cocktails to-go will continue to rise in demand. At the same time, producers will have to recognize that this is an intensified return to simplicity and focus on healthy drinks. 

Tequila 

This is tequila’s moment. The spirit has gone from a base for margaritas to a sophisticated and sippable drink with celebrity brands.

Low ABV drink

Consumers are more health-conscious than ever and looking for low ABV or nonalcoholic options 

Hard Seltzers 

With a highly competitive seltzer market, producers are getting more creative with their flavors in order to stand out from the competition. Be on the lookout for some interesting new products.

Cocktails-to-go 

Consumers enjoyed the ease and convenience of to-go cocktails during the pandemic and are looking for more of the same even as they have been able to return to in-person dining.

Return to simplicity

Brands are removing sweeteners and other artificial additives and returning to a simple list of clean ingredients.

Focus on health

As consumers continue to try and find balance in their lives, producers are responding with healthier options that include products like hard kombucha.

What are the predicted alcohol manufacturing trends in 2022?

Unfortunately, the supply chain issues that have been affecting most industries will continue and there isn’t any real relief in sight. Another trend is an increased focus on sustainable packaging.

What are the predicted alcohol delivery and retail trends in 2022?

In 2022, you will see an increase in both digital storefronts for alcohol brands and more restaurants offer alcohol delivery along with food orders.

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