Beverage Dynamics

Beverage Dynamics - March/April 2017

Beverage Dynamics is the largest national business magazine devoted exclusively to the needs of off-premise beverage alcohol retailers, from single liquor stores to big box chains, through coverage of the latest trends in wine, beer and spirits.

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6 Beverage Dynamics • March/April 2017 ON THE Web Swartz's look at trends in 2017 also included brown spirits: 2) BLENDED WHISKEY GETS EVEN BIGGER We've been saying this for a while now, but it bears repeating. The term "blended" printed on a label no longer sends customers look- ing for another bottle. There was a time when the emphasis on age statements, espe- cially for Scotch, made many whiskey drinkers think that "blended" was syn- onymous for "cheap" and "inferior." Not anymore. Sales in the blended whiskey category in America grew 6% in 2015 to 5.2 million cases. These sales are projected to grow another 6.3% in 2016 to 5.53 million cases. When people now read "blended," they're more apt to think of two pos- itives: "fl avorful" and "affordable." To the former, many brands have begun cre- ating unique fl avors with unusual mixtures. High West comes to mind, for its popular and high-end blends. These are no classically fl avored whis- keys but hybrids of what people have come to expect. Like their Campfi re, which combines Scotch, bourbon and rye whiskeys. 7 WINE TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2017 Swartz continued his 2017 preview with a look at wine: 6) WHISKEY WORKS ITS WAY IN Not literally, of course, but there has been a blending of these two categories in recent time through the swapping of barrels. Plenty of brown spirits have spent time in used port or sherry casks. It makes sense, then, that wine- makers in turn would age their product in something that once held whiskey. Hence the rise of bourbon-barrel-aged wines. This plays into multiple consumer trends. First, in a category that has more female buyers, it might make a male reconsider a wine when normally he only drinks brown spirits or bour- bon-barrel aged beer. It also dovetails nicely with the craft spirits movement, leaning on the rise of whiskey to help sell some wine. And thirdly, it allows winemakers another way to label their bottles to appear unique and different among the hundreds of other wines on the shelves or menu. Remember: many modern consumers, Millennials especially, will favor whatever's new and intriguing. Buying a bourbon-barrel-aged wine is an easy way to have something cool and different at their dinner outing or social gathering. CRAFT BEER TRENDS IN 2017 In a series of articles that explored trends in the new year for each alcohol category, managing editor Kyle Swartz delved into craft beer: 1) 'NEW' IS CONSUMERS' FAVORITE FLAVOR Perhaps the most consequential trend in consumer behavior is their pronounced taste for whatever's the newest brand or fl avor. Many people never want to drink the same beer twice, explains Newport Storm Brewery Co-Founder Brent Ryan. Beyond a handful of personal favorite brews, every- thing else they drink will be new to them. This increase in consumer experimenta- tion, and lack of brand loyalty, has dramat- ically changed how beers are sold. And it's greatly supporting the exponential growth of this industry. Retailers must carry a more diverse selection to maintain sales. Wholesalers are carrying fi ve-to-10 times as many SKUs to sell the same number of cases in years past, Ryan says. This has all opened the door for the surge in new breweries and product. Experimen- tation at breweries is likely at an all-time high, as they put twists on styles in hope of grabbing the attention of the "new" crowd. "The barrier to get into a store or a bar has come down a lot," Ryan says. 10 7 WHISKEY TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2017 Swartz continued his 2017 preview with a look at wine: First, in a category that has more female buyers, it might FOR THE FULL STORIES, VISIT WWW.BEVERAGEDYNAMICS.COM.

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