Future Trends: Spirits

Separating cocktail fads from the future

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Future picture: Cocktail Credentials ambassador Ben Reed outlined how to keep ahead of the curve with cocktails
Future picture: Cocktail Credentials ambassador Ben Reed outlined how to keep ahead of the curve with cocktails

Related tags: Forecasting, Futurology, Future

Cocktail trends can be tricky to predict, but having a process in place to help find the future patterns can pay dividends for operators.

Speaking at The Morning Advertiser​'s Future Trends: Spirits event, held yesterday (4 October) at the Oval Space in Bethnal Green, east London, Cocktail Credentials global cocktail ambassador Ben Reed highlighted how looking ahead to the future can be difficult, but taking influence from others can help predict the future.

Reed said: “The future of cocktails is how to separate fad from future trends.

He outlined five stages in how to predict possible future trends and their implications to ensure operators are planning with the right practicalities in mind.

For stage one, Reed urged operators to be careful about trends because they can be subjective.

Standing the test of time

He said: “There are so many trends out there, the central challenge here is to understand which are fads and which will stand the test of time.”

Step two is to define your area of expertise.

Step three is to identify the main drivers that are pushing trends in mixology.

Reed said research by his company found that the overarching consumer trends were global, communal and simplicity.

Stage four of the process involves prioritising the trends and sorting out those that don’t fit within the framework of the main drivers.

Influence and adoption

Reed added: “The more mature the trend, the more mainstream you will see it. We call this the flow of influence and adoption. What is a future trend to the high-end bars is still a future trend for the high street.”

The last step is to apply a process once the above stages have been set to filter out the trends operators do not need and apply the ones for the patterns they do need.

Reed said: “We use the three Ps of futurology: possible – what you are looking at before you have applied the filters; probable – after you have applied the filter of the trend; and preferable – you look at your bar and brands and decide what works best for your company and ensure it aligns to what you would prefer to happen.”

Future Trends: Spirits was made possible thanks to headline partners Diageo and Schweppes; associate partner Pernod Ricard; and event partners Warner Edwards, Slingsby Gin and Willis Publicity

Related topics: Spirits & Cocktails

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