Winter Cocktail Trends

Beverage development company Flavorman predicts that the pandemic has continued to shift beverage trends. After reviewing the past year’s worth of beverage projects, the company has identified major trends for 2022:

“Big & Bold”. While subtler seltzers like LaCroix and White Claw have reigned the market, Flavorman predicts that time is coming to an end as the market saturates. Instead, chief flavorist Tom Gibson reports, clients are now requesting bold, single-note flavors in sparkling waters and seltzers. 

In line with other flavor trends of consumer hedonism and “comfort food” during the pandemic, Flavorman also reports that popular botanical flavors like hibiscus, lavender, and elderflower are now joined by herbal notes of turmeric, anise, and rosemary for a greater sense of earthy and savory qualities. 

And as with other food and beverage products, transparency and simplified ingredient lists are more important than ever—especially for packaged goods. More and more, distilleries are marketing the story of their product sourcing, whether that be gin made in India or Hawaiian sugarcane rum. 

WSGN culinary trend forecaster Kara Nielsen says: “Some of these visionary distillers are trying to expand the conversation and do things in a new way. Part of this is local pride, as well as a drive to showcase indigenous ingredients that we’ve seen trickling across the culinary space.” This desire for product authenticity replaces the era of celebrity-endorsed brands that dominated the 2000s. 

The low and no-alcohol drink market also continues to grow, with Bon Appetit reporting a potential 32% of growth next year. Mocktail pairings are trending more than ever, forcing bartenders at restaurants fine dining, and casual alike to be more creative in coaxing nuance of flavor out of ferments, herbs, and spices. 

And in the continuing trend towards convenience, the ready-to-drink canned cocktails market is expected to reach $13.4 billion by 2028 according to Grand View Research. First-mover High Noon is now joined by an increasingly crowded North American market including Diageo, Bacardi Limited, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and Goose Island. 

As for particular spirits, Nielsen predicts a rise in the popularity of mezcal and baijiu. 

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