Demand for gluten-free and vegan products is a ‘fad’

14th August, 2017 by Melita Kiely

A leading drinks analyst has claimed that consumer demand for dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan-friendly products will not be a long-term trend, but a short-lived “fad”.

Gluten-free-spirits

Demand for gluten-free and vegan-friendly spirits will not be a long-term trend, according to a leading drinks analyst

Spiros Malandrakis, senior analyst at Euromonitor, believes the current dietary-lead trends are not indicative of consumers’ long-term drinking habits, but a short-term phase they will grow out of.

He advised producers to be cautious of creating new line extensions or adjusting existing recipes to fit consumers’ current dietary-restrictive tendencies, which he does not see lasting longer than a couple of years.

“There are a couple of trends now going for a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan-friendly approach and all that, but I wouldn’t get too excited,” Malandrakis told The Spirits Business.

“I would mostly call it a fad, not a trend, which I can’t see lasting more than a couple of years before consumers will move onto a new fad as they always have.

“I don’t think we’ll see a growth shift in terms of trajectory, but we could see brands embracing the latest trends out there and keeping in contact with their core demographics. But on the other hand I don’t believe this will radically change the landscape [of the industry].”

Several spirit brands have already started catering for consumers’ dietary demands, including drinks giant Diageo.

In June 2016, Diageo unveiled a dairy-free and gluten-free variant of its liqueur brand Baileys – Baileys Almande – made from almond milk, almond essence, cane sugar, purified water and real vanilla.

However, it was later revealed that the expression contained a derivative of beeswax and honey meaning it was not vegan-friendly.

The recipe was tweaked once more to omit these ingredients, and in March this year Baileys Almande was certified vegan in the US.

For a more in-depth look into how dietary-lead trends are shaping the liqueurs category, see the August issue of The Spirits Business magazine – out now.

3 Responses to “Demand for gluten-free and vegan products is a ‘fad’”

  1. James Robertson says:

    All very well to say this but with a daughter who is Celiac, she looks for things that are gluten free because she has too. Malandrakis needs to understand that many people have no choice and that their search for products that are gluten free is so that they do not feel ill every day. For them it is not a “fad”.

  2. Kim says:

    Just a comment on this article that Gluten Free & Dairy Free is not a “FAD” or a choice for some people for people who have Celiac disease or Dairy allergies, it is a must for their health. Celiacs cannot and should not eat gluten and some people with dairy allergies can go into anaphylaxis if they have dairy. Those people who don’t have allergies and choose these “diets” are only hurting those people who truly have difficulties because now the food and beverage industry doesn’t take it seriously. Those of us who truly have allergies appreciate having broader alcoholic beverage choices.

  3. Kendra says:

    Wonder if this listen to demands will change the whole industry? There can be a new product that is gluten or sugar-free.

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