All the Wine & Spirits Trends Abuzz at Vinexpo and Drinks America
Whether you’re a wino, into ultra-premium whiskey or simply looking for what’s next in the Bev/Alc world, you’ve come to the right place as we’re rounding up the latest trends to watch out for in the industry.
We’d be remiss to not mention how ChatGPT has infiltrated the wine and spirits industry. We attended a panel about Omnichannel Marketing, hosted by executives from ReserveBar, E. & J. Gallo Winery, Preferabli and Breakthru. While none of their ecommerce sites currently offer ChatGPT, each had interesting ideas on how to incorporate it (if it worked perfectly). The biggest takeaway was for description of the taste of a product, likening the need to a sommelier explaining the tasting notes of how a particular Sauvignon Blanc tastes compared with one from a different region, or a bartender talking about how an Old Fashioned made with bourbon whiskey may differ from one made with rye whiskey. This could be incredibly difficult to nail, especially on a site with hundreds of products and as consumers have such varying tastes and occasion needs. However, it may not be as far off as we think. We’re already in a world where we can order a cocktail from ChatGPT (yes – it’s a thing, according to Food & Wine's latest piece on AI-Generated Cocktails).
The New Wave of Spirits & RTDs
There was an entire section of wine and spirits producers who have been in the business for five years or less, and we saw many promising concepts and trends throughout. This section gave smaller producers and brands from all over the world the opportunity to get in front of target audiences, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they start popping up on buzzy restaurant menus soon or getting featured on your go-to lifestyle websites or spirits podcast.
Some of our favorite companies and brands include Endless West, a maker of molecular spirits; Waterford Whisky, a farm-to-bottle Irish whisky inspired by winemaking; Night In, a beautifully packaged mix of wine and cocktail; and The Wine Collective, an Urban Craft Winery from Maryland that makes Spanish-style aperitivo spritz in a RTD format.
Natural & Organic Wines
Out of more than 400 exhibitors at Vinexpo and Drinks America, nearly 100 were in the natural and organic wine category – a testament to how consumer demand has increased overall globally. With that demand, according to Forbes, the wine industry is working to court younger millennial and Gen Z audiences through a variety of ways, including simpler marketing and rethinking packaging.
Alcohol with Purpose
We know firsthand how important it is to incorporate meaningful giveback components to programming – and we have helped architect it for globally recognized brands, such as Budweiser and Wild Turkey. We were pleased to see brands rooted in purpose exhibiting at Vinexpo and expect to see the trend grow this year, with two that caught our eye:
- Tipsy Teacher was founded by a Maryland teacher to fuel and fund teachers by donating a portion of proceeds of every sale to Adoptaclassroom.com. While currently local to Maryland and available DTC, we’re sure this brand will expand to continue making a difference in teachers’ lives.
- South Africa also had a solid presence at Vinexpo with the important purpose of bringing awareness of the country’s Black-owned and female-owned wineries to the U.S. Market. The Bridge Of Hope Wines, a Black-and-female-founded brand, offers premium wines and focuses on assisting small and medium wineries with their businesses in South Africa with the aim of uplifting communities.
The spirits industry has made room for the rise of the damp and sober-curious lifestyles for some time now, but we remain steadfast in our belief this only offers everyone the opportunity to personalize what drinks work best for them. However, we’re not surprised this category has grown quickly with the overall culture shift in drinking and wellness. At Vinexpo, we found trend-setting brands like Surely, known for creating NA wine; d’marie mixers that can turn any drink into a slushie without a blender; and More Labs that offers booster shots for morning after recovery, focus and sleep. These brands are picking up steam and the market is ripe with opportunities for them, and other new brands, to grow.
Cheryl Weissman leads Allison+Partners’ food + beverage specialty. She has helped some of the world's leading food and beverage brands achieve their goals while navigating the ever-changing world of public relations.
Ashley Kraynak leads several of Allison+Partners’ top consumer brand accounts across lifestyle and food and beverage categories. She is a seasoned media strategist that counsels brands on crafting the right narrative to secure top-tier media wins and reach consumer audiences.Category: Consumer Brands