Monday, October 17, 2016

Healthier Alcoholic Spirits May be "Hard to Sell" Concept

     During The Global Drinks Forum in Berlin, this was a topic of one of the meetings.  The speaker had some  very interesting points that have come out of recent research.  Take some time and read the report that came out of the forum, it is rather enlightening.  It is interesting that the effect of the social media and being embarrassed is a big a part of the thinking.

     Alcoholic drinks that use healthy cues will struggle to break into the mass market, according to analysts at Mintel.   Speaking at The Global Drinks Forum in Berlin, global drinks analyst Jonathan Forsyth noted that today's younger generation perceives a healthy lifestyle as "desirable and cool". However, he warned that these consumers tend to drink alcohol more for "taste, fun and indulgence" and "not to benefit their health".   "When it comes to this strategy, it's a very hard sell," said Forsyth. "It's a bit like selling snake oil.
     "How can you say as an alcoholic brand that you're actually going to make people healthier? This is an area only really populated by niche brands."   Forsyth highlighted Vitamin Vodka, which contains vitamin K, B and C, as well as beers in the US such as Mighty Squirrel's 5g protein beer and Barbell Brew's 22g protein beer.   According to Forsyth, the trend offers drinks companies the chance to highlight their "natural" cues, which he said give a "health halo" without making any health claims.

     "The desire for 'natural' has made gin cool again," he said, referencing the segment's use of botanicals. Some of the larger vodka brands have also used these cues, such as the Absolut Botanik RTD, which launched in Australia last year, and Smirnoff Sourced, a flavored vodka range that is made with real fruit juice and has no high-fructose corn syrup.  

     The 'better-for-you' concept is also linked to using high-quality ingredients. "When consumers were asked to define 'craft alcohol', 'high-quality ingredients' came second and a 'unique flavor' came first," said Forsyth. "Healthier can be communicated indirectly by emphasizing the use of natural, real and premium ingredients that blend together to create a unique flavor."   Moderation is also a consideration within the 'better-for-you' trend, although Forsyth said "'balance' is probably a better word".

     The analyst cited Heineken's research, released earlier this year, that suggests Millennials prefer to moderate their drinking in order to avoid embarrassment on social media.