Everything has a ‘trend’ these days, from hairstyles to shoes, clothes to…drinks? Yes, even the world of beverages has its own popularity scale, with people seeking to order the new ‘in-drink’. For 2018, perhaps the undisputed major drinks trend came in the form of gin. Just 10 years ago, gin was pretty far on the other end of the spectrum of cool. A G&T was a drink your gran had. Now, we have gin bars, gin menus, and even gin spas.
But is the gin trend here to stay? In this article, we’re looking at 2019 to discuss the drink trends of the year.
Low-to-no alcohol drinks
What was once a relatively small market is growing year-on-year. That’s according to a report by the Guardian, who noted the distinct shift in view towards alcohol in Millennials. According to the newspaper, a quarter of 16-24 year olds don’t drink at all and 27 per cent of Brits claimed to be drinking more low and none-alcoholic drinks nowadays.
The trend is so prevalent that Diageo, a leading UK alcoholic beverages company, predicted that low- and no-alcohol drinks will be the number one drinks trend for 2019.
Exciting cocktails (or mocktails)
That’s not to say that less alcohol means less fun. Quite the contrary, as the younger generation is actively looking for more interesting flavours and textures in their drinks. Bartenders have more scope than ever before to try out new combinations and new flavours, and the current market will be open to trying it.
It was predicted that bars will become more adventurous with flavours in a bid to stand out from the competition, with savoury flavours a possible route for drinks trends.
Textures are also rising in popularity, and they are a great way to shake things up. Plus, there’s a thirst for colourful nostalgia — it photographs well for social media! Blend this desire for texture, and serve up one of 2019’s biggest drinks trend: slushie cocktails. After 2016’s frosé craze, slush drinks are taking the mantle to far more creative heights! Plus, contrary to the stereotype, these frozen cocktails don’t need to be sweet, with bartenders whipping up dry and balanced tasting chilly drinks too! It’s bringing colourful memories of childhood back for an adult audience, full of fun textures. What’s not to love?
We think these drinks would be a great base for a mocktail too. With more people choosing to forgo alcohol, that shouldn’t mean having to forgo variety. Customers will want something more exciting than cola or lemonade — no-alcohol frozen cocktails would certainly be a winner!
Whether it’s down to the five in 100 people in the UK being lactose intolerant, or the 3.5 million Brits now following a vegan lifestyle, dairy-free options are on the rise. In fact, the milk alternatives sector is predicted to rise globally by 43 per cent over the next four years.
Couple this with the surging health consciousness of the UK and the call to ban such dairy-and-sugar concoctions such as freakshakes, and cafes will need to go back to the drawing board for their milkshake menu.
Adding a non-dairy option to your drinks menu will keep you ahead of the game in 2020. Milkshakes can easily be made non-dairy with some vegan ice cream and soya, coconut, or oat milk. Experiment with different flavours to really entice new customers, like this peaches ‘n’ cream vegan milkshake that bucks the chocolate-or-strawberry milkshake stereotype!
Of course, while consumers are looking for a few more healthy options in their drinks, they also want to know that their drinks were healthy for the planet too. Looking to 2020, it’s definitely time to review your bar equipment and catering supplies. Plastic straws are being rapidly phased out for eco-friendly alternatives, such a paper straw, for example. A good, transparent supply line can reassure customers of their purchase.
What do you expect to see more of in our glasses as 2020 begins to unfold? Are there any 2019 drinks trends you’ll be happy to see having its last orders?