Beverage Industry Forecast: Four Trends to Watch in 2024
By Lauren Trieschmann
As we approach the end of the year, we’ve already seen a steady stream of predictions from industry experts and leading brands about what to expect in the beverage space in 2024. Below, we’ve outlined a few notable trends our team will be keeping a close watch on going into the new year.
1. Crossover Concoctions
According to market research firm Datassential, “crossover” beverages – of both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties – will be big in 2024. Examples cited in a recent Datassential trend report include wine cocktails, whiskey seltzers, and tea-based alcoholic beverages. Over the last decade we’ve witnessed the inception and subsequent popularity of RTD hard seltzers (typically vodka, tequila, or malt liquor-based), with new and innovative takes on this trend popping up seemingly every day. Consumer demand doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon, so it only makes sense for brands to continue pushing the envelope with their crossover creations. Outside of the alcohol space, Datassential predicts that cannabis-infused beverages, such as sodas and coconut water, will continue gaining momentum in 2024.
2. Traveling With Your Tastebuds
The concept of “traveling with your tastebuds” ties back to consumers’ desire to experience food and beverages from around the globe from the comfort of home or a local restaurant or bar. While this trend has gained steady momentum in recent years, it’s predicted to have a major moment in 2024. Datassential specifically notes that “spirits, liqueurs and cocktails from Central America, South America and the Caribbean are gaining traction with consumers.” Notable examples include Tepache, a fermented alcoholic beverage native to Pre-Colombian Mexico that’s made with pineapples and spices, and Falernum, a Caribbean liqueur flavored with ginger, lime, and almond that’s often used in tropical drinks.
3. Hi-Tech Libations
Technology continues to make major strides across the board, and the beverage space is no exception. While “robot cafes” are nothing new, in 2024 we can expect to see technology take on a new role when it comes to producing and serving up beverages. Take, for example, the Barsys 2.0, which is marketed as “a smart automated cocktail-making machine, also known as a robotic bartender,” and retails for a whopping $1,500. When it comes to technological innovations in production, Datassential notes that a number of brands are experimenting with “fast liquor,” or spirits that are fully aged in a matter of weeks using “a scientific combination of heat and light,” but supposedly taste like they have been aged for years or even decades.
4. “Clean” Caffeine
According to Whole Foods’ 2024 trend report, “clean caffeine” – characterized by health-conscious caffeinated beverages that are less likely to cause the “jitters” and have added nutritional benefits – is due to have a major moment in 2024. Examples include mushroom-infused coffee (which, arguably, has already taken off in 2023), prebiotic green tea, and cold brew with L-theanine, an amino acid that is said to reduce the jittery effect coffee has on some people.
Want to learn more about beverage industry trends and how to leverage these insights to build your brand? Reach out to the Double Forte team to learn more.