The global market for alcoholic beverages amounted to over 1.49 trillion US dollars in 2020 and is expected to grow to 2.2 trillion USD by 2025, according to Statista. Meanwhile, changing consumer habits during the pandemic have led to a plethora of new behavioural trends, which equate to a host of opportunities for brands hoping to capture new market share in the sector.

“Online alcohol purchases have more than doubled from 2019 to 2020,” says Matthew Haws, vice president of global marketing at Esko Brand Solutions. “E-commerce growth has been accelerated and brands are not only competing for aisle space, they’re also fighting for screen space too. This is the new reality and beverage brands must adapt to stand out.”

With the aim of helping brands to leverage the latest beverage trends for success, Esko has recently launched a free downloadable e-book. The resource covers in-demand drinks and the packaging styles they believe are best suited to promote them, as summarized here. 

All’s well and good

As the average consumer is painfully aware, recent world events have disrupted societal norms. Almost a third of consumers would like to continue working from home – leading to a seismic shift in purchasing patterns, according to Global Data. In addition, wellness trends are seeing strong growth, catalyzed by the need for consumers to feel healthy, even when they’re living unavoidably sedentary lifestyles.

“Hard seltzers rose in popularity during 2020 because they tap into the trend for low-calorie, zero sugar alcoholic drinks with natural flavours. While new category launches such as these present exciting opportunities for brands, the challenge is reacting with agility to capture market share. One of the simplest ways to do this is by implementing workflow digitalization to ensure efficiency, accuracy, and cost savings are embedded in your processes.”

Let the good times roll

As countries around the world emerge from challenging lockdowns and long periods of isolation, a party mood is in the air. As consumers opt for light-hearted entertainment and fun pursuits, spirits and ready-to-drink cocktails are the go-to-choice. While many consumers experimented with making cocktails during lockdown, the ready-to-drink sector is set to appeal today, offering greater convenience and accessibility to hedonists on the go.

With new product ranges and multiple lines to manage, Esko says that brands in the know are turning to digital asset management (DAM) solutions to manage their assets. A DAM can help to organize digital content in a centralized, secure location and acts as a single source of truth for all brand assets.

A rose-tinted future

“Continuing with the feel-good trends that are playing out in the beverages themselves, we’re seeing a reflection of this in packaging trends too,” says Haws. “Vintage nostalgic styles are being reworked for the modern market, allowing them to sit alongside vibrant colour-block graphics. This is great news for brands that have a strong heritage and can tap into legacy design elements – with digital tools, this is not only possible it’s very simple,” concludes Haws.

It is Esko’s view that digital tools can allow brand creatives to increase their efficiency by searching, accessing, and editing assets directly from the DAM through a window in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, or Illustrator. This can be invaluable when utilizing past design files to adapt new packaging graphics.