The beverage industry is constantly evolving. And keeping up with customer trends is simply good business. With New Year’s right around the corner, now’s the time to prep for the big trends of 2024. Here are our predictions so you can stock your shelves and plan cocktail menus with customer preferences in mind.
Totally Tea Time
While hard seltzers are still going strong, consumers are calling for fresh, new options, too. And flavored teas are taking center stage. Tea is a wonderfully adaptable ingredient with flavors ranging from spicy to sweet and smoky to floral. Tea-based options like infused spirits and spiked canned cocktails provide rich, flavorful experiences without the extra sugar.
The Spritz took off in a big way in 2022 and since then, the spritz-craze has only gained momentum. And it’s really no surprise. In many respects, the spritz is perfectly suited to the growing demand for lower-alcohol cocktails. From sweet and fizzy to dry and citrusy, you’ll want to incorporate a variety of sparkling spritzes into your 2024 menu.
Another trend likely to continue its upward climb is the cocktail + caffeine craze. The previous year’s espresso martini madness has set the stage for a plethora of new coffee-and-spirits combinations like the cold brew Negroni, the Oaxacan Coffee, and Alpine Brew. Revived classics like White Russians, Irish coffee, and Revolvers round out the category. To capitalize on this trend, invest in high-quality beans and/or coffee liqueurs, and be sure your bartenders are well-trained in basic barista skills.
Thanks to the global economy and the reach of social media, fabulous influences from other countries are making their way onto the US wine and spirit scene. While the Margarita has long been a popular cocktail, more Latin American spirits, liqueurs, and cocktails are gaining traction with American consumers. The craft Tequila explosion shows no signs of slowing, but Mezcal is catching up fast, as well as other diverse options such as falernum (a Caribbean lime and spice syrup), Pisco and Cachaça.
Asian-inspired spirits and cocktails are also on the upswing, including whiskeys and Shōchū from Japan and Soju from Korea. Flavors like lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime leaf, Asian pear, and yuzu are also working their way into Western cocktails.
The demand for personalized consumption experiences is on the rise. And how a customer experiences a beverage is just as important as the beverage itself. To truly set your business apart from the crowd in 2024, it’s important to go beyond what’s in the glass or on the shelf. Elaborately finished drinks, charming and knowledgeable staff, and the unique use of ingredients should be top of mind when evaluating your menu for the new year.
No matter which trends you choose to tackle in 2024, Proof has everything you need to stay ahead of the game.