The adult beverage industry has experienced many shifts in recent years. This has resulted in new consumer trends. Some of these trends are expected to continue for many years to come and will be major growth drivers for the adult beverage industry.

Below I have compiled a summary of some of the major shifts in the adult beverage landscape.

Ecommerce is key

The adoption of ecommerce within the adult beverage industry is predicted to become even more prevalent. Prior to the pandemic, 45% of people didn’t know that alcohol delivery was legal. People quickly realized, and online alcohol sales surged. Last year, online alcohol sales exceeded $6B.

This number will continue to rise. In fact, alcohol ecommerce sales are anticipated to reach more than $42B by 2025 across key global markets, with the US expected to lead the charge.

This results in new opportunities, as well as new challenges. For example, more consumers mean more access to data which can result in more precise targeting, however it could also create concern around data compliance and nuanced regulations within the industry.

Other opportunities created because of the rise in ecommerce include a lower barrier to entry for new brands, which also results in the challenge of increased competition and market saturation. It’s more important than ever for brands to prioritize agility across all marketing strategies.

Buying behaviors have evolved

In driving people out of the bars and into their living rooms, the pandemic fundamentally altered when, where and why consumers make their purchasing decisions.

Aki recently conducted a survey to better understand how behaviors have evolved. When asked about how their consumption behaviors have changed since before the pandemic, 20% of respondents said that they now drink more alcohol on Mondays, followed by 16% that said Wednesdays.

In terms of where consumers transact, many people are now turning to mobile apps to place their orders. There was a 43% increase in sales on alcohol delivery apps during the 2020 lockdowns, with this trend continuing through to 2022. In addition to online sales, on-premise sales are also on the rise. The bar and nightclub industry is estimated at $28.6 billion in 2022, which is a 14.1% increase from 2021. So, why do consumers select a particular item or brand? Some of the more increasingly prevalent motivational trends surround health and sustainability. In fact, 48% of US liquor consumers make purchase decisions influenced by a company’s sustainability and environmental initiatives, and 66% of consumers are likely to be influenced to buy an alcoholic beverage that provides health benefits.

Data is dire

In order to understand who to reach and how to reach them, it’s time for marketers to rethink the role of data.

Below is a visual representation of the data signals that marketers can access to identify the needs of the ever-evolving adult beverage consumer.



The above may not look like it means much, but it reveals a lot. By accessing data signals such as time, location, device motion and device type, marketers can identify that an individual is in a “Primetime TV Moment.” Purchase data such as purchase frequency, category, preference, retailer and persona can indicate that the individual is a loyalist with an instant need. By combining Moment and Purchase Data, a rosé brand seeking to be the “ladies night” viewing party preference could reach this consumer with a high-impact mobile or CTV advertisement.

Access to a robust dataset that is privacy compliant by design will set adult beverage brands apart from the competition. Brands need to be looking for new ways to collect and leverage data across their full marketing funnel.

To learn more about the shifting adult beverage landscape, feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions:

Risa Crandall, SVP CPG Strategy and Sales at Aki