The excitement of the upcoming holiday season and the anticipation of an exciting new year have gotten us thinking about delighting guests with beverages that spotlight their soon-to-be-favorite trends.
Sophistication, sustainability, and sober-curious options are the beverage headlines for 2024. Whether your guests want their beverages healthier, more sustainable, or prepared in a more socially responsible manner, we’ll help find the best options for your menu. Avendra’s sourcing experts are ready to guide you to becoming the ultimate destination for guests to gather and imbibe.
Among the offerings you’ll want to have available will be NoLo beverages (no- and low-alcohol wines and spirits). The NoLo movement is driven by sober curious consumers looking to lead a life that is alcohol-free or with reduced alcohol consumption. This lifestyle explores the wellness – mental and physical – benefits of less, or no, alcohol.
According to Datassential’s 2023 Future of Drink report, “nearly half of consumers (49%) are interested in low-alcohol cocktails and 45% of consumers are interested in craft “mocktails” and CBD-infused beverages, respectively.”
Global flavors are on the menu for 2024. According to CGA, the margarita remains America’s favorite cocktail. Next year will see a rise in demand for more Latin American flavors including smoky mezcal and falernum (a Caribbean syrup of lime and spice). Joining the Latin American trend will be beverages from Japan, China, India, South Korea, and Taiwan. Distilled beverages like soju from Korea and Japanese whiskeys are among the Asian beverages that will top the charts in America.
Datassential shares that wine trends have been some of the strongest in recent years. Consumers are looking for wines from unique regions both domestic and international, including options like sparkling reds and low-carb/low-sugar wines. Consumers are most interested in natural and dessert wines.
Following the dessert wine trend are all things sugary. Alcohol-infused sodas, dessert-inspired wines and beers, and boozy treats like pastry stouts and “milkshake” IPAs are where Datassential is seeing increasing awareness and interest.
Drinks with health benefits are another growing trend. EHL Insights shared that plant-based beverages continue to be an important menu component. Seventy-one percent of global consumers seek functional and multi-tasking drinks with plant-based ingredients. “Some popular examples of functional drinks with plant-based ingredients include plant-based milk…fruit juices, and…natural caffeine from yerba mate, green tea, coffee, guarana, and ginseng.”
CBD-infused beverages are becoming mainstream for both alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks. They offer relaxation and other health benefits, specifically their anti-inflammatory properties.
Sustainability has never been more important. Boxed wine is an emerging trend in restaurants. According to EHL Insights, each three-liter box generates about half the carbon dioxide emissions than that of a glass bottle. Boxed wine is easier to store, preserves open wine well, and is a more hygienic and sustainable option. It’s also cheaper to transport and stock. Sales of boxed wine are surging around the world and are expected to grow 1.7 times by 2033.
There is also a rise in zero-waste alcohol options, with brands taking more significant steps to reduce their environmental footprint. For example, Discarded Spirits Co. is a zero-waste brand whose product range is created by using ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away, like banana peels and the discarded fruit of the coffee berry. With sustainability remaining top-of-mind for guests, you’ll benefit from highlighting innovative products that consumers perceive to be better for the environment.