As global spirit drinkers become more experimental, with at least 39% of them actively trying new varieties within each category, craft distillers are presented with an opportunity to diversify their product portfolio. This can be done by adding unique ingredients, trying unusual ingredient combinations, and using innovative processes, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company’s latest report states that consumers are moving away from mass-produced brands towards spirits made with craftsmanship, and optimistic distillers are looking to emulate the success of established craft breweries, with innovative and quirky flavors being one way to do this.
Emma Wright, Consumer Analyst for GlobalData, explains: “Out of all the spirits, consumers are most likely to try new or different varieties of whiskey, followed by vodka and liqueurs, so craft distillers should look to increase the number of products within these categories. Some unique flavors are already being seen in the craft spirits industry, including savory combinations such as chipotle whiskey and ibérico ham mezcal.”
In order attract potential consumers to such unusual flavors, manufacturers should introduce offers such as taster packs by subscription, to facilitate experimentation at an affordable price. Indeed, spirits tend to be the most expensive alcoholic beverages, so consumers tend to be cautious in their purchasing decisions. Not only are craft spirit brands relatively unheard of, but they also come at a premium, which may deter custom from risk-averse consumers. GlobalData believes that tasting samples may help mitigate this risk.
Wright continues: “Another risk manufacturers should bear in mind is that words such as “craft” and “artisan” can be construed as gimmicks, with 41% of global consumers agreeing that such buzzwords are merely an excuse for manufacturers to charge extra. This is largely down to the fact that manufacturers can use words such as “craft” without actually being a craft distillery, undermining the term.
“In this way, craft companies should emphasize their authenticity in order to gain consumer trust. This might include events, tasting rooms, and distillery tours help to distinguish “craft” from mass-produced brands.”