Vodka is making a comeback, says studyBy Nicola Carruthers
Vodka is predicted to make a comeback in the UK on-trade next year as consumers move away from both cheap and expensive labels in favour of craft brands.
The Bibendum 2018 Trends Report, released yesterday, noted spirits, wine and beer trends for the year ahead, compiled using the company’s forecasting tool, CGA data and insight from customers and the Bibendum sales team.
“Vodka is making a comeback,” said Christina Schneider, Bibendum channel development manager. “It’s riding the craft wave, with some great craft vodkas coming onto the market and filling the gap between cheap, entry-level alcohol and super expensive, ‘bling’ brands – none of which premium bars want to use.”
Provenance in Tequila and mezcal was also named a key trend, due to its increase in popularity in bars, as consumers move away from shots and look to drinking Tequila in premium serves, with mixers and in cocktails.
Improvement in the quality of mezcal was also noted, with mezcal gin named as a future trend – a “more approachable” spirit infused with gin botanicals.
“As consumers learn more about Tequila and mezcal, they care more about where it’s from and how it’s made,” said Darren Flanagan, Bibendum business development executive.
“The agave lifecycle is long, meaning that the soil and climate where it’s grown plays a key part. Looking at London’s bar scene, more and more people are drinking it – and it’s not just shots. They are opting for premium serves, with mixers and in cocktails.”
The report also stated the replacement of hard spirits like vodka and gin in favour of Sherry, vermouth and sake in cocktails, as the consumer demand for low-alcohol serves continues.
Cocktails on tap were also said to become even more important for bars in the future, with kegged cocktails set to rise in popularity as the “ideal solution” for outdoor venues during the summer.