Little interview

Number of new gins joining the category is ‘staggering’

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Drink trends: Adrian Taylor, head of on-trade at Roust, discusses the trends for pub and bar operators in 2019
Drink trends: Adrian Taylor, head of on-trade at Roust, discusses the trends for pub and bar operators in 2019
Adrian Taylor, head of on-trade for Roust – the company behind Russian Standard vodka and Zubrowka Polish vodka – discusses 2019’s emerging drinks trends.

What do you think will be the biggest drink trends during the rest of 2019 and why?

“The big drink trends developing in 2019 centre around sustainable cocktails, craft fruit beers, no and low spirits and wine in cans.

“The rise of Our Planet​ TV documentaries, climate change campaigning and a desire to remove plastic and food waste is driving the conscience of both consumers and bartenders towards sustainability.

“Craft beers are firmly established but are starting to broaden their flavour profiles and appeal to wine drinking audiences with well-crafted fruit infused beers.

“No and low is growing exponentially as consumers and abstainers latch onto the new wave of adult orientated zero-alcohol drinks that tap into the ‘health’ trend and are making this category trendy.”

Are there any spirits or cocktails you’ve seen become increasingly popular in recent months?

“Gin growth continues to dominate the spirit category and the number of new gins joining an already well-stocked category is staggering.

“However, the vodka category isn’t sitting on its laurels as vodka infusions with lower ABVs are definitely the new trend. Citrus fruits and botanical flavours are in vogue – expect to see these in more cocktails over the summer.” 

What flavours are consumers demanding most regularly from cocktails?

“Consumers are seeking freshness in their cocktails – fresh fruits and herb flavours are definitely in. This is driven by a desire for more authenticity and connectivity with mother nature and less artificial flavours and colours.”

How do you think that spirit/cocktail drinkers have changed in recent years?

“The overall professionalism and quality of UK bartenders and their ability to make engaging drinks is creating a self-fulfilling demand from consumers who are no longer happy to drink from a core range of standard cocktails but desire unique, seasonal drinks that reflect their core values of sustainability and authenticity and, ultimately, the more ‘Instagramable’ the better!”

Do you think any spirits can challenge gin’s dominant sales figures?

“Not in 2019! Gin is still on its upward trajectory with little sign of slowing, in fact the category is still innovating which highlights the latent consumer demand for all things gin – for now!”

How do you think the rise of low and no-alcohol drinks will impact the cocktail and spirits category?

“I don’t think no and low should be looked at as impacting the category, it’s more about bringing a group of consumers on the fringes of cocktail consumption into the fold.

“No and low has a definite place on the back bar and in cocktails and, ultimately, enables the designated driver, the abstainer or those who don’t want to drink ‘all night’, to enjoy the cocktail ritual without having to suffer the often binary choices of cola or orange juice on a long night out! No and low has the power to bring consumers out of home and make the on-trade a destination for all.”

Related topics Spirits & Cocktails

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