The research, presented exclusively at The Publican's Morning Advertiser Beer Innovation Summit, revealed that hybrid beers that blur the boundaries between categories are on the rise and answer the demand for more interesting drinks.
Mintel’s global drinks analyst Jonny Forsyth, speaking at The Publican Morning Advertiser’s Beer Innovation Summit, said: “All innovation should start from the perspective of the Millennials. This generation have much more of a sense of adventure, more than previous generations and we are seeing much more experimental attitudes from them. When buying beer, 23% of 18-34 year olds seek a unique or different flavour. This relates to a lot of category blurring and so we have seen the rise of the hybrid beer.”
“This is the sweet tooth generation,” added Forsyth. “Each week the average Britain consumes 238 teaspoons worth of sugar. Sweet flavours they may not be welcomed by purists, but we have seen flavoured ciders and whiskies have done very well and beer flavours are getting more experimental.”
Forsyth also pointed out how hybrid beers draw attention away from a lower ABV and allow consumers could indulge in a low alcohol beer without needing to explain their choice to friends, but advised brewers to be experimental without downgrading beer quality through too much tacky over-differentiation.
“86% more likely to drink non-alcoholic beer and 78% more likely to drink low alcohol beer, but 18-34 year olds want the ABV of these beers to be more discreet, because then they don’t succumb to peer pressure of drinking a higher ABV. Flavour gives them this option. But the industry needs to beware of taking things too far – the vodka sector is a cautionary tale. As brands increasingly try to differentiate themselves from competitors, things can get gimmickier and cheapen the category.”