Widespread social, economic, political and technological uncertainty is driving the growth of the Active-ist Consumer mind-set (characterised by a desire for curated social experiences, greater control of personal data and purpose-driven brand engagement) is presenting new challenges for brands, says the William Grant & Sons Trending 2020 Report.
This report is the latest consumer insight and market analysis from the company and the evolution of The Active-ist Consumer is reflected in an upward shift in spending on more meaningful experiences, driving premiumisation in the spirits industry. Innovation is now a marker for luxury, which will see investment in research and development boosted across the drinks industry in 2020, with innovative drinks combinations designed to capture life’s best moments.
Neil Barker, managing director, William Grant & Sons UK and Ireland, said, “Continued growth in the premium drinks sector reflects an increasing desire to prioritise quality over quantity. People are drinking less, but better, seeking out authentic quality brand experiences that deliver against values that are important to them. Innovation in no/low alcohol serves, clarity on the provenance of premium brands, as well as investment in the experiences that best elevate our brands are just some of the ways we will continue to take consumers on an elevated, premium experience journey.”
The Report’s key market findings include:
- Beer, wine & spirits (BWS) industry is worth £43.1BN in the UK, up 3.2%. Of this, on-trade accounts for £25.7BN (up 2.9%).
- The spirits sector in the UK on-trade is now worth £11.4bn, up 6.3% from last 2018. Within that, premium spirits (defined as £23+ using Nielsen price per 70cl) is now worth £1.66BN, up 16.3% and now account for 34.3% of all spirits value growth over the last year in the on-trade.
The report also says that the dynamic between brands and consumers is shifting, with demand now driving:
- Immersive Worlds: 80% of millennials are always looking for unique experiences and adventure;
- Brand connections on a candid human level: Nearly half (47%) of UK consumers agree they like brands to have a point of view and stand for something;
- Proactive self-management: From carefully creating online identities and specific spend on experiences and services, to managing individual health and social groups;
- Purpose: 73% of consumers agree ‘it’s not enough for brands to just be environmentally responsible – they should be socially responsible too’.
Nearly nine out of ten (86%) consumers are likely to treat themselves to small indulgences in the next 12 months, showcasing the continued upward trend of premium and luxury brands in key spirits category performance across the on and off-trade.