According to a recent study by the Italian National Institute of Health, the rise in home deliveries meant that alcohol consumption at home shot up by 250%. This was aided by the multiple lockdowns and virtual happy hours. But these statistics are not cause for concern: broadly speaking, drinkers now tend to drink less but better, preferring quality over quantity.
The entire whisky industry has also benefited from this trend, going from strength to strength during the pandemic. As proof that this market sector is growing, a considerable number of rather innovative products have launched on the market last year.
But what are the whisky trends for 2021? To mark World Whisky Day, which took place a few days ago, we thought we’d take a look at this year’s new trends.
Change in target market
In the past, whisky was generally consumed by older males. These days, both women and men enjoy this spirit, including younger drinkers (over 25). This trend is evident all around the world and it appears that whisky is the spirit of choice among this new generation of drinkers.
In particular, the popularity of Irish whisky appears to be growing. Its combination of accessibility and tradition makes it a natural starting point for millennials who are new to the spirit.
In recent years, there has been increased interest in reviving traditions, bringing production methods and recipes back to life with a modern twist. This modern update is certainly a big trend for 2021, helping to engage younger generations as they discover the history and quirks of brands and their products.
In response to this trend, several distilleries are recreating old recipes. Taking original ingredients, they are using modern ageing methodsto give them a new twist, producing distinctive nuances of taste.
Experience is at the heart
Consumers, particularly millennials, are constantly on the lookout for new experiences. This is reflected in the way they approach and appreciate new whiskies.
In the past year, as a result of the pandemic which shook the world, people have become very interested in virtual experiences where they can sample, discover and learn more about whisky. This creates new opportunities for the future, where both virtual and in person events can engage and create a rapport with the target market.
Demystifying of the product
In the past, whisky was associated with deeply ingrained snobbery. This led to widespread assumptions about the spirit and what it stood for. Of course, each drinker has a different taste, which is unique to them, and “experimentation” is the order of the day.
In times of great historical change such as the one we are currently going through, drinkers rarely get attached to one specific style. They simply want to hop between the different nuances of taste, an even more fun way to appreciate this product.
More room for new production regions
We all know that whisky is produced in certain historically well-known and distinctive regions, including Scotland, Ireland, and Japan. Yet, it seems that some lesser-known whisky regions will make their mark in 2021.
At the pinnacle is Taiwan, home to Kavalan Distillery, which has won many accolades during recent years. A geographical oddity nestled between the Yilan mountains and the sea, its mountain winds and air currents help accelerate the whisky ageing process. This unique microclimate makes for its unique products, presenting Kavalan as one of whisky’s most important frontiers east of Scotland.
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