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  • Date: 16.01.23

    2023 Trend Report

    Is your brand able to reap rewards whilst riding the wave of recession?

    Our 5 unmissable drinks trends for 2023 have been inspired by an unrivalled passion and experience in the world of beverage, set in the context of the current economic climate.


    Crisis: Post-pandemic, while the world is still trying to recover, we’re also facing new sources of crisis. From climate crisis, cost of living and resource shortages, people are having to reprioritise, and this in turn is inevitably, dramatically, affecting how people are spending.

    Essentialism is the new mindset, making people question “do I need it?” and more importantly “how much do I want it? what will this do for me?”.

    Optimism: For those wanting to counter the negativity of a crisis outlook, people are falling into two camps; either looking for pure escapism to recapture nostalgic joy or to make choices that feel like they’re actively impacting a better future.

    This drive to cultivate moments of uplifting pleasure is creating new ways to appreciate and enjoy, or a deepening of already held values – and ultimately, result in more purposeful purchases.

    Trend 01: Domestic Imbibing

    To counter the cost of living and daily stresses, we will continue to embrace more aspirational domesticity. Home bars, D2C and easy to recreate serves are all still of interest but home-mixology may begin to wane in 2023.

    RTDs have captured audiences with their convenience, affordability and sustainability, fuelling an accessible way to trial and experiment. But be wary of the semiotic design blur appearing between canned cocktails, spritzers, craft beer, energy drinks and soft drinks.

    Key Facts

    Hybrid work has reshaped demand for products and services. According to Deloitte analysis in the US, people plan to spend more on groceries and housing expenses per month and less on new clothes and vehicles. 2022

    On average 80% of UK adults will have drunk alcohol at home in the last week.

    US adults said they were planning to buy more RTD cocktails in 2023, while 76% of respondents said they would most likely enjoy them at home. Drizly Consumer Report 2022.

    Opportunities within Domestic Imbibing

    Is your brand fit for the casual at-home occasion?
    Is your signature serve memorable and easy to recreate at home?
    How is your D2C experience leveraging your unique brand story?

    Trend 02: Localised Adaptation

    Social media has meant that influences are now global, creating a shift towards a ‘global citizens’ mindset, celebrating different cultures and influences. In 2023 people will look to more unique, regionalised, adapted offerings that don’t just promote a ‘western aesthetic’.

    A need to discover authentic ‘local gems’ is also being fuelled by an upturn in travel again; an opportunity that we will see flourish within GTR.

    Key Facts

    80% of survey takers admitted to choosing drinks that go with their vacation’s vibe (e.g., tropical drinks in the tropics), or that are locally made, over their usual drink choices. 2022 Drizly ​Consumer Report

    Guachau – a trend for China-born brands is not just a simple rejection of westernism.

    “Yes Guochau is rising but it’s not as simple as just ‘Chinese born brands’. There is still an aspiration to think beyond China – not just to Westernism, – but to be global. It is rooted in locally born brands that are leveraging a globality.” Asian Brand Expert

    In 2021, Diageo announced their intent to build a whisky distillery in China’s Yunnan Province. The Eryuan landscape was chosen for its natural beauty and biodiversity to allow them to craft world-class, China-born, carbon-neutral, single malt whisky.

    Opportunities within Localised Adaptation

    Are there any untapped opportunities in your brand’s history and narrative?
    How does your global proposition adapt to local market needs?
    What experiences and collaborations could build local value for your brand?

    Trend 03: Justified Joy & Indulgence

    Mental Health is at an all-time low, and historically, this is when people seek nostalgia, to see the world through a ‘rose-tinted’ perspective.

    People will be looking for occasions to treat themselves or moments that spark spontaneous escapism. Packaging that exhibits joy will connect with consumers, especially Gen Z, who are craving stress relief. This is a huge opportunity for RTDs and gifting propositions.

    Key Facts

    Gen Z views more informal and frequent kinds of get-togethers as reasons to spend more on adult beverages – even more so than their older cohorts. 2022 Drizly ​Consumer Report.

    When asked about specific occasions for gifting wine, beer and spirits, 25% of survey takers cited “just because,” outranking traditional occasions such as recognising work achievements, engagements, weddings and graduations. 2022 Drizly ​Consumer Report.

    Opportunities within Justified Joy & Indulgence

    What is the emotional response your brand aims to create?
    How can your brand tap into gifting and trigger desire in an ownable way?
    What are the right gifting occasions for your brand and how can you own them by leveraging your visual equities?

    Trend 04: Mindful Drinking

    Riding the wave of wellness and mindfulness, people are looking for ways to improve their mental well-being through consumables.

    From CBD drinks to low & no, people want their drinks to work harder for them. This is a tricky area as legality around mind-altering ingredients is constantly shifting, but with increasing interest, clever use of alternative ingredients and mental-health propositions could prove this to be a fruitful category.

    Key Facts

    The CBD market in Europe is expected to grow 400% by 2024, with UK and Germany leading in terms of retail sales,
    followed by Switzerland, Austria, Spain, and Greece. Stylus.

    25% of US consumers said the emerging CBD drinks category is the one they were most interested in (after tequila RTD cocktails & hard iced tea). 2022 Drizly ​Consumer Report.

    The global cannabis drinks market is set to grow $8.3 billion in value in 2023, opening up a new world of creative mixology and experimentation in the US. The Drinks Business.

    Opportunities within Mindful Drinking

    What is the right way for your brand to tap into the wellness craze?
    What are the opportunity spaces you should innovate in credibly?
    How does your brand identity flex to meet your brand’s growth needs?

    Trend 05: Waste-free Wishing

    Consumers are moving to a pragmatic, ‘essentialism’ mindset where spending can’t lead to waste, making values-led propositions shift from a nice-to-have to a hygiene factor. But for those that do it well, it will become true value added and worth paying more for. Creating aspirational design around your sustainable changes will drive positive brand associations.

    Instigating change in this space is challenging for those with global offerings that produce at huge scale; but points of where positive, impactful change, can be made are vast and communicating these changes authentically will alleviate the possibility of ‘greenwashing’ claims.

    Key Facts

    Between March 2021 and February 2022, Danish app Too Good to Go saw 9.8 million European downloads, while purchases of its discounted food-filled ‘magic bags’ are doubling every month in the UK. App Radar, 2022 & The Grocer, 2022​.

    Nearly half of US and 70% of Chinese alcohol drinkers say they’re positively influenced to buy from manufacturers demonstrating sustainability credentials. Alcohol Sustainability Round Up 2022, Stylus.

    Opportunities within Waste-Free Wishing

    Are you looking to achieve your sustainable objectives but not sure how?
    How can your sustainable activities add desirable long-term value?​
    Are you communicating your ethical efficiencies in a compelling,
    impactful and ownable way?

    To discuss how Thirst can help you to reap rewards while riding the wave of recession, please contact:


    Thoughts, trends, trips and tips from Team Thirst.

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