It’s a brave new world for the alcohol beverage industry. Sure, bottles of wine can still be found at most places, but the advent of wine on tap and electronic menus are modernizing the age-old ways of popping corks, and Millennials in particular are taking notice. Cocktails are showing up in new shapes, forms, and flavors. Ten years ago, could you have imagined fat infused into your drink or grabbing a glass of wine at your local fast food joint? These are a couple of early trends that are turning heads.
We’ll be sharing more about this new and high-tech era in beverages service during Datassential’s two sessions at the 2017 Nightclub & Bar Show: Wine Takes on the Millennial Consumer (Room N114, March 27, 10:00 AM to 10:50 AM), and Thinking Outside the Bottle: Drink in 2017 Trends (Room N114, March 28, 2:00 PM to 2:50 PM). For the meantime, let’s dive a bit deeper into some of the new alcohol trends re-shaping the industry today.
The Future is Now
Wine has been served pretty much the same way for hundreds of years, aged in barrels and bottled to perfection. Today, there is an entire industry geared toward high-tech innovation in wine and other alcohol beverages. You can now find almost any beverage available on tap, which helps lower the barrier to trial and enable sampling. An example is Lois, a wine bar in New York City’s East Village. It was the first wine-on-tap-only bar in the city and features 16 wines – something both wine connoisseurs and casual drinkers can appreciate. Some places are also putting next-level spirits, bitters, and cocktails on tap, like Amor y Amago, serving up sweet vermouth and Americano cocktails on tap.
Bars and restaurants are evolving the way they menu beverages: bring on the tablet list or download the app to view what is being served now. Technology is lowering the cost to make menu changes rapidly (and let's be honest, it's cool). However, it also means once your brand hits the menu, there is no guarantee it will stick around. We cover generational differences and the risks and rewards brought on by emerging technology trends.
Fat-Washing & Fortified Wines
You’ve probably heard of butter for coffee, but how about fat for cocktails? Fat-washing is now an early trend for cocktails. According to Datassential’s MenuTrends, fat-washing is found on less than 1% of US menus, but one in four consumers say they would try one. There are unique opportunities to differentiate yourself from the competition by incorporating rich flavors like coconut oil and bacon fat in cocktails. You might also consider experimenting with fortified wines. According to Datassential’s Spring 2016 issue of TIPS, 43% of consumers say they are likely to try fortified wines at restaurants.
This is just a spattering of the alcohol trends we’ll cover in our sessions – here’s to seeing you there. Cheers!