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10 Top Drink Trends for 2012

by Claire Martinsen on Thu 29th Dec 2011 16:05

We’ve been working hard here at Breckland Orchard HQ compiling our 10 Top Drink trends for the New Year.  The recession continues to play a key influence with British consumers keeping a careful eye on their budgets and wanting their spend to go further.  We see this as being energising for the UK Drink market in 2012, with innovations in low alcohol beers, retro drinks and independent coffee shops emerging as a direct result of the UK economy.  Drinks manufacturers will continue to innovate to meet changing trends, and 2012 looks to be an exciting year for npd in the sector.

Without further ado let us introduce our Breckland Orchard 10 Top Trends for the UK Drinks Market:

    The British love of retro soft drinks will continue – expect to see lots of Lemonades, Dandelion and Burdocks, Cream Sodas and of course lashings of Ginger Beer!  The Brits are falling in love all over again with classic tastes of their childhoods and remembering just how great they taste.  As part of that trend we expect to see the Ice Cream Float make a reappearance on menus across the UK ……what could be better?
    Tying into the love of all things retro, cordials and squashes will see a resurgance in popularity.  Always popular, and perfectly suited to recession 2012 will see cordials/squashes as an essential drink…….versitile with hot or cold water, carbonated water, or as an ingredient in cooking.  British imaginations will have no bounds when it comes to their uses.
    Independent coffee shops will become more prevalent through 2012 as consumers eshew the Coffee giants such as Starbucks and Costa to seek out coffee shops with personality.  Independents such as Kaffeine, Artisan RoastMonmouth Coffee are forging the way in the urban centres, but 2012 will see this trend spreading nationwide.
    The recession is actually helping this trend, as modern food entrepreneurs leave their corporate jobs to follow their passions and start up coffee shops that can reflect their love of great food, great coffee and great atmosphere. Tim Hayward identified this trend in his excellent BBC Radio 4 reporting for the Food Programme. And after sipping coffee in a great independent, we just can’t see anyone wanting to go back to the sterile environment of a Costa or Starbucks again!
    Expect to see a further rise in the popularity of Functional Drinks as people literally seek to drink themselves better. Beet It Juice for athletic performance or Alibi as a pre-tox drink are some current examples, but watch out for more new drink innovations in 2012! Cheers.
    Expect to see a swathe of new lower alcohol beers hit the pubs and shops in 2012, as manufacturers launch beer to take advantage of the reduced duty on beers under 2.8 % ABV.  For the consumer this translates into a 50p saving.  Expect to see more taste from these ‘modern milds’ bursting with strong flavours on the palate not the  bland taste associated with their predecessors.  Greene Kings ‘Tolly English Ale’ and Wadworth’s ‘Small Beer’ are early examples of this new trend,  the other brewers to be quick on their tails!  Mild will never have been so wild – watch this space!
    2012 will also see landlords realise that there plenty of reasons why their customers may not be drinking [de-toxing, health reasons, driving, pregnant etc] – so expect to see the number of soft drinks increase to react to this! No more simple options of ‘J2O or Coke’……2012 will see a variety of flavours, guest soft drinks and non-alcoholic cocktails on pub menus.  For non-drinkers this can’t come soon enough!
    Everyone is used to a ‘coffee on the run’, a quick latte or cappucino, but tea has so far lagged behind.  Constraints of milk and tea-bags mean that a portable coffee is far more the norm in the UK.  Expect some fairly aggressive innovation in the market as the UK’s favourite hot drink fights back.  ‘A grande English Breakfast sir? certainly’
    We’ll get our first celebrity baristas in 2012, as barista champions transition over into the mainstream.  Watch out for blends of coffee specially concocted by these celebrity baristas, pop up cafes in urban centres with the baristas in residence for a limited time.  Exciting times!
  9. RUM AS THE SPIRIT OF 2012 – we predict that Rum will make the cross over from Pirates favour [ahoy-me-hearty] to become the achingly trendy spirit of choice in 2012.  Not the white rums such as Bacardi, but Dark rums, Golden rums and spiced rums – bars will be awash with them all. Events such as the Rum Masters 2012 and the UK RumFest 2012 will add sparkle and enjoyment to the [re]discovery of just how great rum is.
    The Crafted Vodkas and Gins will be passe as bar goers seek out trend setting Rum brands – eg Mount Gay or Goslings [but expect some craft made UK rums to be making an emergence too].  For the modern age Rum will be served neat over ice, or as a long drink with Ginger Beer [aka a classic Dark and Stormy].
    With the recession upon us crafting and re-cycling have never been so popular.  Growing your own food and foraging for food have enjoyed a renaissance, Kirsty Allsop is on TV getting us all crafting and that trend is set to cross over to drinks in 2012.  Expect to see foraging for Sloes, Damsons, Rosehips – and then all being turned into flavoured vodkas/gins this autumn..  Fruit wines made from Blackberries, Apples, Pears and the likes.  Home Brew Shops will become busy hives of activity!



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