2021 drink trends: all you need to know about mixers

We look into the latest trends in the world of mixers

Stock up on the classics

During times of upheaval and uncertainty (like right now!) customers look for reassurance and familiarity. Well-known heritage brands provide comfort and security, so remember to mention the brand as well as the drink.

For on-trade, this means putting trusted brands front and centre, and providing comforting classics for customers to enjoy – think Britvic, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Schweppes. Offer classic cocktails as well, such as a great Bloody Mary or traditional Cosmopolitan.

Skip the spirits

More people are ditching the alcohol and drinking mixers on their own – on-trade has seen a 6.4% increase in these occasions (Kantar World Panel, November 2019). This trend started in 2019 but could well continue with Covid-19 prompting new customer behaviours.

According to a CGA study, 16% of customers surveyed cut down their alcohol intake as a way to protect their health during the pandemic and 43% of people who drink weekly in on-trade admitted to reducing or cutting out alcohol completely during lockdown.

It remains to be seen whether this trend will live on when we revert to the ‘old normal’. In the meantime, it opens up the chance for outlets to increase their mixer sales. Keep your bar well-stocked with the new generation flavoured mixers as they’re big sellers. Elderflower is the number one tonic so make sure you have it on your bar – look out for new launches from Britvic and Schweppes, available from spring 2021.

Three mocktails

Think outside G&Ts

As popular as gin and tonic is, 74% of spirit and mixers sold don’t actually contain the juniper-spiked drink. Vodka and whisky account for a huge 51% of total spirits volume sold (Global Data, April 2020).

So there is a real opportunity to pair mixers with spirits customers might not traditionally opt for to boost your mixer takings. Ginger ale or ginger beer make a brilliant companion to dark spirits such as rum and whisky. Suggest grapefruit or pineapple juice with vodka for a fruity twist.

Coca-Cola’s Signature Mixers make great cocktails with the dark spirits. Put this Jack and Smoke on your menu for something a bit different.

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