Sustainability, authenticity and Instagram-friendliness were the key driving forces behind the top summer drinks trends in Ireland this summer, research shows.
Irish drinkers are becoming more sophisticated, choosing to drink ‘better’ over more, as they seek authenticity, creativity and connectivity, the Drinks Ireland report showed.
Overall alcohol consumption has fallen in Ireland since 2001, but there is more and more quality and, in many cases, homegrown offerings on the market.
The group outlined 10 overall drinks trends it saw in the market this summer.
The 10 Ten
Herb infusions and dehydrated fruit in cocktails
With a growing trend of choosing quality over quantity, the research showed that there has been an increasing cocktail culture in Ireland in recent years.
The group that represents the drinks industry in Ireland said that cocktail drinking consumers are becoming more sophisticated and that it saw herb infusions, dehydrated and locally sourced fruit, and unusual flavours become even more popular this summer.
Presentation proves the more Instagramable, the better
There is an increased focus in bars and restaurants on glassware, ice and overall presentation when it comes to serving drinks – from unusually shaped beer glasses to gin goblets topped with fruit.
This has resulted in a huge shift away from plastic straws, a move which many Irish bars are leading on by offering cardboard or other non-plastic alternatives.
Rise of the Irish whiskey cocktail
Sales of Irish whiskey in Ireland rose by 5.4% in 2018, from 6.62 million bottles to 6.98 million bottles. And with this has come a migration away from ‘traditional’ whiskey drinking, and the rise of Irish whiskey-based cocktails, which consumers continued to love this summer.
Sun's out, rosé's out
Rosé consumption increased in 2017 for the first time in many years, from 3% in 2016 to 5%, helped by the good weather.
Summer gin drinkers think pink
Irish consumers bought over half-a-million bottles of pink gin in 2018, and the refreshing option continued to be a popular choice this summer. There are now more than 20 gin producers and more than 50 gin brands in Ireland, with 12 new brands introduced in 2018.
Infusions and flavoured vodka
This summer we saw the growing popularity of infused and flavoured vodka, in some case distilled with real botanicals and infused with natural fruit essences.
Local and homegrown ciders for consumers seeking authenticity
Consumers want authenticity and locality in their drinks, and this is no more evident than in the cider sector, the repoet showed.
Last year, roughly 75% of cider consumed was made in the Republic of Ireland.
This marked a 2% increase in the market share for local purchases year-on-year.
Consumers are increasingly being met with experiential wonder, whereby the construction of a drink compliments its setting and enhances the overall experience, said Drinks Ireland.
Low and non-alcoholic beer
Sales of low and non-alcoholic beer jumped by 60% in Ireland last year, an increasingly popular option for health-concious consumers that were enjoying a beer in the sun. this summer.
“Non-alcoholic beer gives consumers greater choice for a variety of drinking occasions, contributing to the growing cultural trend around the importance of living a balanced, healthy lifestyle," Radina Shkutova marketing director at Heineken Ireland said.
"Delivering a great taste and a quality product is of course important for beer drinkers in Ireland, especially in the low and non-alcoholic category, as beer is the most popular drink here and there is a wide variety of great products on the market."
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.