MA Drinks podcast – in association with Diageo

How have drinking habits changed in 10 years?

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

The future of alcohol consumption has never been more in focus, with habits changing on an almost daily basis driven by lifestyle choices that, in turn, determine innovation. But what’s next for alcohol?

In the first episode of MA Drinks​, a monthly podcast featuring one-to-one interviews with people at the top of the drinks sector, The Morning Advertiser​'s Nicholas Robinson speaks with Sarah McCarthy to discuss how drinking culture has changed in the past decade.

“There’s been a huge amount of change in the market with technology and the approach to socialising has changed,” said McCarthy, who is Diageo’s head of on-trade category development for GB.

The craft beer movement

“Big change can’t be attributed to one single thing, but there are a couple of things that have driven change, such as the craft beer movement in the US, which filtered through to the UK.

“It has meant that people are discovering the entrepreneurial and exploratory side of alcohol. The emergence of Sipsmith also drove people to craft gin – both small and large.”

In the podcast you will hear McCarthy speak about past, current and future trends as well as how operators can tap into these.

Get the monthly MA Drinks​ podcast by signing up on iTunes now.

McCarthy was speaking prior to the launch of Diageo’s Drinks Report ​this month,​ which highlighted a £5bn growth opportunity for alcoholic drinks.

The report outlined four pillars of importance within the drinks sector, which were:

Balanced Choices​ – Mindful consumption is on the rise, with no and low-alcohol beer offerings growing by double digits in the on and off-trade.

Make the Moment​ – We increasingly live in an experiential economy, with consumers looking for products that elevate their experiences, in and out of the home. For example, 2019 saw a 48% increase in fans looking for a pub showing the Six Nations rugby.

Exploration ​– Whether it’s whisky, gin or beer, consumers are increasingly open to discovering new alcoholic beverages – and the rise of digital has given them new tools to do so. For example, seven in 10 adults have discovered a new beverage on social media and considered buying it.

Celebration –​ Celebrations represent a huge opportunity for increased consumer spend. Offering ranges that facilitate an opportunity to trade up and adding seasonal serves or bespoke packages for calendar events will allow licensees to capitalise on this key area for growth.

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