In the Spirit: Alcohol Trends in 2023
2023 consumer attitudes towards alcohol in the UK
Our In the Spirit trend looks at the alcoholic drinks that are trending in the out of home market in 2023 and beyond. As we’ve seen, consumers are eating and drinking out less often, largely due to the cost of living crisis, and many are moderating their alcohol intake. All of this means that when consumers do have a drink out of home, they want something of good quality that they will truly enjoy. And something that feels worth spending their money on.
Our two sub-trends show the spirit-based drinks gaining momentum this year…
Our two trending spirits for 2023 are tequila and rum. Both spirits have grown in value share of the out of home market since 2021*. Whilst the historical gin boom has begun to decline. One thing that works in their favour is their versatility, with both tequila and rum being enjoyed as standalone drinks, with mixers, and also as main ingredients in cocktails. In fact, they have both grown in share of cocktail serves too. Whilst other spirits like vodka, gin and non-cream liqueurs have declined in share of cocktail serves**.
Particularly cocktails have been big this year, and we’re seeing demand for them grow even further. But it seems that consumers want something a little less mainstream when drinking out, as demand for unusual flavours and ingredients is on the rise. Flavoured martinis have become more popular for example meanwhile the traditional pornstar martini has declined in share of serve**.
Do you have a signature drink?
Well over a third of consumers say they’ll always, or almost always, opt for the ‘signature drink’ if they are ordering a cocktail. And the proportion of people who say this has increased over the past year***.
Signature cocktails are a great way to offer consumers something bespoke and unique when they are out. Particularly if they look good or they are presented in an exciting way.
Check out our cocktail recipes to help give you some inspiration…
Is consumer behaviour towards alcohol changing in the UK?
People are moderating their alcohol intake – younger generation typically drive this trend, however we’ve seen that engagement with the ‘low and no’ category has over doubled since 2020!*****
However, there is still plenty of demand for appealing alcoholic drinks too. With rum and tequila being the two trending spirits of 2023, and demand for cocktails remaining high, it’s important that operators focus on both.
Which spirits will be popular in 2023?
2023 is all about rum and tequila. Both spirits have grown in value share of the out of home market since 2021 whilst the historical gin boom has begun to decline*. This suggests consumers are looking to widen their horizons with spirits and perhaps try something new and different when they’re out of home.
Rum and tequila both benefit from being extremely versatile – used as stand-alone spirits, enjoyed with various mixers, and as main ingredients in popular cocktails too.
What are the latest cocktail trends?
Demand for cocktails is on the rise, but it seems that consumers are wanting something a little less mainstream and more unusual when they’re drinking out** – with new flavoured versions of well-loved classics becoming a hit with consumers.
37% say if they’re having a cocktail they’d almost always opt for a “signature drink”, suggesting they want something unique to the venue they’re in*******. So there’s scope for operators to get creative with menus… whether it’s in the theatre of the drink, the ingredients or even a fun name on the menu!
We’re also seeing a love for retro food and drink, so we expect to see more operators offering old-school cocktails and giving them modern twists and new flavours too.
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*CGA Trading Index, quarter ending 23/04/22
**CGA Mixed Drinks Q1 2022 – Volumetric sales data
***CGA Mixed Drinks Report, sample size 1,004
**** CGA Proprietary Data, sample size 2,003 (UK adults)
*****CGA by NielsenIQ Mixed Drinks Report, sample size 1,004