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February 16th, 2021

It’s been an interesting year to say the least. Coronavirus has accelerated changes in consumer behaviour across all sectors – the food and drink industry being just one of them.

A year on and still locked down… but what exactly has changed for the drinks industry? And what trends will have longevity post-Covid-19? Here at Futures, our specialist Drinks team take a look.

 

A focus on health and nutrition

The pandemic has ensured that health is at the forefront of our minds and we’re seeing a much more health conscious approach from consumers. From vitamin rich juices to lower sugar and healthier products, we expect to see the surge in demand continue into 2021 and beyond.

An FMCG Gurus poll showed that due to covid-19 a huge 80% of consumers plan to focus on eating and drinking more healthily. The same survey revealed a strong interest in vitamin C products to help boost the immune system and 57% of consumers also looking to reduce their sugar intake. Whether it be through increased fruit intake, increased protein intake or reduced sugar intake – it is worth drinks brands taking this consumer trend into account.

In line with the Government strategy to target obesity and protect the NHS, and the current consumer focus on health, now is a great time for drinks brands to take note of their products and strategy to ensure they meet this demand.

 

More ‘low and no’

Continuing the supercharged focus on health and wellbeing, there is a demand for more low and no alcohol products. A trend established before the pandemic in an increased attempt to adopt an overall healthier lifestyle for a rising number of consumers, the pandemic has accelerated demand for these products.

BrewDog are amongst brands acting on this and claim to have launched the “world’s first alcohol-free bar” selling a variety of 15 alcohol-free craft beers on tap to show that ‘low and no’ products doesn’t have to compromise taste, quality or experience.

Although easy enough to adopt when dining and drinking at home, there is a call for more low and no products to be accessible when pubs and bars reopen their doors. With 57% of adults open to drinking low alcohol products at the pub, only 40% of consumers surveyed had seen any of this type of product on sale in pubs.

 

Convenience is King

One of the biggest lessons of 2020 was the value in being able to adapt fast. Drinks brands were forced to speed up innovation or alter their business model and launch online shops and delivery services in order to survive. From March 2020 to present, staying in has become the new going out, and with life events continuing like birthdays, engagements or just your standard Friday night in, consumers are looking for quality drinks delivered to their door.

This trend is expected to continue long past lockdown as drinks enthusiasts become accustomed to their favourite products being delivered straight to their door and drinks brands are able to reach new audiences and increase sales into 2021 and post-pandemic.



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