Jekyll Insights

Do alcoholic beverages have a future?

Aitor Ballesteros

Insights Team


Aitor Ballesteros

Insights Team

"Have a glass of 103 cognac before you go on a trip. Just one!" stated an advertisement for the 103 cognac brand in the 1960s. The almost non-existent regulation around alcohol at that time and the ignorance of its negative health effects led to a massive consumption of alcoholic beverages among baby boomers. The industry had everything going for it to attract customers.

However, today's circumstances are very different. Alcohol consumption is going downhill, since Generation Z and Millennials drink less alcohol than previous generations. One of the reasons for this is the spread of healthy consumption habits and personal care. According to a Mintel study, 67% of Generation Z members say they avoid unhealthy habits, such as heavy drinking.

Staying home is the new way of going out

But that’s not all: these generations of young people prefer to meet their needs in the comfort of their homes. According to the same study, in 2018, 28% of younger Millennials preferred drinking at home because going out requires too much effort. For them, staying home is the new way of going out. This trend can be seen, for example, in the increase in home delivery: according to the study Online Food Delivery Services Global Market Report 2020: [COVID- 19 Growth and Change]((, this market is expected to grow by 11.51% in 2023.

If Muhammad does not go to the mountain, the mountain will come to Muhammad. Saucey, a Los Angeles-based company (USA), provides consumers with a home delivery service of high-quality beers and cocktails with a wide range of brands to choose from.


For this reason, the hotel and catering sector must seek new ways to attract these young customers and encourage them to leave their homes so as not to be left behind. One method that is currently working is to offer a new menu, in other words, to create new cocktails that will draw the attention of these generations. Almost half (49%) of Millennials say that trying a new drink is the main reason they go out to a bar.

Also, in the midst of the digital revolution, young people rely a lot on the Internet and social networks are their field of action. Such is the case, that these generations frequent places that can be photographed. If the experience is not worthy of a post on Instagram, they will rather stay at home or visit a more stylish establishment. According to a Franklin & Sons survey, Generation Z members are four times more likely to pay a premium for cocktails that look good on their Instagram feeds than previous generations.

Social prestige is king of the Generation Z mindset; therefore, establishments are investing in creating spaces that are appealing to social media in order to attract these consumers. For this reason, they have decided to redecorate their premises with neon lights. The British cocktail chain Dirty Martini has neon artwork in its establishments for its customers to take pictures of themselves and upload them to social media.

On the other hand, nighttime experiences that don't revolve around alcohol are also on the rise. Teetotalers are in vogue. More and more restaurants are offering alcohol-free cocktails in their menus aimed at this group.
But it goes beyond this; startups like Liquid Death are putting a twist on this concept. "Why should unhealthy products be the only brands “allowed” to be loud, fun, and weird?", they explain on the Liquid Death website. The brand wants to put aside the prejudices of drinking water in places where alcohol is usually consumed, so it offers its customers a disruptive bottle, whose water comes from an underground source in the mountains of the Alps, with an original style, far from the conventional plastic bottle.

As part of this approach, complementary businesses such as integrating nostalgic children's games and retro sports into bars are gaining strength. According to Mintel, almost a quarter of Millennials (22%) believe that bars would benefit from adding activities to their offerings. Establishments are starting to offer billiards, pétanque or darts.

Ballie Ballerson, a cocktail bar in the heart of London, has updated the concept of a children's ball park and readapted it for an adult audience. The key to its business lies in combining cocktails with childhood nostalgia. Customers come to this place to relive the parties of their childhood without losing maturity.

Taking up the ideas of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, companies must adapt to this new paradigm in order to survive. The economy is in constant change and you need to know which way the wind is blowing to guide your brand towards success.

This is a key moment for the alcoholic beverages sector, in which brands must stand out from their competitors, either by serving their cocktails in the consumer's own home, or by attracting customers to the restaurant with new recipes, redecorating the stage or looking for complementary businesses.

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