6 Marketing Trends to Watch in the Alcohol Industry for 2023

  • by Whiskey Media
6 Marketing Trends to Watch in the Alcohol Industry for 2023

Marketing alcohol isn’t something there's a perfect formula for, but the alcohol brands that do it the best are the ones that have an understanding of the marketplace and the current demands shaping it. For the alcohol industry today, that means entering the digital space.

The internet is rapidly giving brands the power to better connect with customers, manage relationships, and grow their business.

Check out these digital marketing trends shaping the marketplace today.

E-Commerce Product Photography

1. E-commerce is King: E-commerce Is Outpacing Brick & Mortar in the Beverage World

During the pandemic, we witnessed an immediate impact on the way alcohol was purchased. As customers coped with closing restaurants and bars, they turned to alcohol retailers and online platforms to quench their thirst. Platforms like Drizly quickly filled the gap, achieving rapid growth with year-over-year sales that increased by 500% in the middle of March, and peaked in April at 1,000 percent. By the end of 2020, Drizly experienced an increase in sales of 350%.

The convenience and ease of online ordering has made it an attractive option that will continue to grow in popularity.

E-commerce platforms provide alcohol brands with the chance to increase brand awareness and connect with new consumers that may not have a chance to know about them otherwise. They also allow an extra layer of control over customer relationships, providing valuable reviews on products and services that can be used to improve your offering.


Premium Alcohol - Beverage photography by Twist & Tailor

2. The Premiumization of Alcohol

Premium alcohol has been on the rise as more options for high-quality beverages have become available to consumers. And the pandemic compounded this trajectory as consumers became more limited to the places they could enjoy a quality drink. With restaurants and bars closed, people began buying quality alcohol to enjoy from the comfort of home.

Alcohol brands have found success through messaging that focuses on quality, production, and origins. However, a return to classic cocktail culture has also provided ample marketing opportunities for alcohol brands. Popular marketing trends include cocktail recipe books/eBooks, pairing guides, and virtual tastings amongst others.

3. Take it Online with Digital Marketing & Advertising

Alcohol marketing is more effective than ever due to the prevalence of digital marketing and advertising across the internet. Organic marketing strategies make it easy to save money while building a loyal network of customers. Some of the most popular places alcohol brands thrive include social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, where it becomes easy to connect and share with your target audience on a consistent basis.

However, brands may also find growth through content marketing strategies that publish their own blogs, photography, and videos across various platforms on the internet.

Paid advertising is also a popular choice for alcohol brands as it can be a quicker way to gain impressions. Paid ads on platforms like Google give brands a variety of ways to engage and reach their target audience, capitalizing on gaps in the industry.

Not only does it make it easier to attract leads across social media platforms, but it also makes it easier to find your target audience through niche media outlets. Many brands have employed successful alcohol marketing strategies through promoting their products on podcasts, vlogs, and social media.

4. Alcohol Brands Are More Inclusive Than Ever

Inclusivity is on the rise amongst alcohol marketing trends, and it’s long overdue. An industry that’s been dominated by tropes associated with certain spirits, wines, and beers is now striving to change the ideas surrounding who a drinker is.

Where spirits like whiskey were once traditionally marketed as the spirit of choice for drinkers that were white males, we’re now witnessing it become more popular amongst women and people in the black community. Black-owned businesses like Uncle Nearest, as well as other minority-owned businesses are quickly entering the spotlight of the alcohol industry, and with their success, we anticipate a continual change in how marketing engages the modern drinker.

We've worked with wonderful black-owned whiskey brands, ourselves, such as Dublase Whiskey. We love to see new contenders bringing fresh ideas to the industry.

Non-alcoholic distillate photography by Twist & Tailor

5. Healthy Drinking Is on the Rise

An influx of low calorie drinking options has flooded the market, and with it is a new consumer consciousness toward well-being. While drinking will never be touted as a healthy activity, successful alcohol marketing campaigns have done well to associate drinking with healthy lifestyles and those who mind their health.

Brands like White Claw made a name for themselves on a light drink with strong effects, making it a great sip for anyone visiting the beach or going on a camping trip. Today, White Claw and Truly own 75% of hard seltzer sales between them. Meanwhile, many new hard seltzer brands have entered the market, growing the industry from 10 brands in 2018, to more than 100 today (The Business of Business).

The alcohol-free sector is also sky rocketing, as drinkers become more conscious of their consumption. Alcohol-free isn't just for those who are sober. We've seen brands promoting the idea of "pacing" or decreasing total alcohol consumed during the night, while still enjoying drinks with friends.

As the alcohol industry evolves, we expect to see similar marketing trends for other alcohol brands, focusing on messages that associate their brand with fitness and health.

6. Metamodern Labeling and Packaging in Alcohol Marketing

The label and package on a product are often the first impression a customer has with your brand. As the alcohol industry moves forward, labeling and packaging are changing to meet the demands of the modern drinker and create a certain level of expectations.

Clean, simple, and sleek labeling is becoming increasingly popular, touting designs that often balance bold colors, sleek typefaces, and modern design with the traditional roots of a brand. Packaging has begun prioritizing recyclable materials and production methods that minimize environmental waste. And a new demand for portable drinks has prompted brands offering wine and pre-mixed cocktails to adapt their products into cans for easy carrying to a picnic or a party.

Cocktail recipe creation and photography by Twist & Tailor

Carve Your Space in the Alcohol Industry with Marketing by Twist & Tailor

The alcohol industry is a competitive market, and creating a successful marketing strategy can be a challenge for alcohol brands. After all, how do you know where to start? 

Our collective of marketing professionals have the skills to grow your business. Contact us today!

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