Bad Girl, Good Business

Booze Clues: What’s Brewing in the Liquor Industry? (Business of Fun #13)

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Have you ever heard of a beer farm?

It’s a real thing. Just as I was preparing to write the last post in this 4-part review of the history of and trends in the booming spirits industry (covering evolution, business management,and technology), an article popped up in my feed (pun intended) about the “farm to bottle movement.” Although small-batch breweries have been around for a while, this social enterprise near Vancouver combines agriculture and brew — even growing its own hops. Demand for hops has apparently surged in recent years. Here are some other things you may have wanted to know about hops but never thought to ask.

Want more fun facts about the industry and what’s next on the horizon?

  • The number of US artisan distilleries soared from 50 to about 600 between 2005 and 2013. But new players didn’t stop pouring in then. In 2015, 620 new breweries opened, with only 67 closing their doors.
  • Vodka is still the most popular liquor in the U.S., with Smirnoff being the most-loved brand. But baiju is the top-selling liquor in the world. Surprisingly, it hasn’t made its way out of China yet. (We must be too busy brewing beer.) What was the most popular mixed drink of each decade in America? This lively little video will take you on a mixology tour.
  • If you live in 12 states, you’ll have to stock-up on your booze on Saturday. They still prohibit liquor sales on Sunday.  Check out this article for more fun facts about alcohol and commerce.
  • Hard soda, cider, grapefruit, and vegetable-flavored cocktails are among some of the 2016 trends. Although things seem to be getting fruity in the industry, I’m relieved that Boone’s Farm Apple Wine (a staple of my youth) hasn’t made a major comeback.
  • The industry has been seeing steady growth over the past ten years and the average per capita beer consumption is 20 gallons. The good news is that they are drinking more water than either soda or beer, according to this trend report. So, before you consider creating yet another app, perhaps you should take a look at this sector.

Not only is technology creating new experiences in drinking establishments, it’s changing the way liquor brands market. Spending on digital marketing was up 50% from 2014 to 2015, as the big brands invest in sophisticated targeting, all forms of social media, and virtual reality.

Clearly “getting a little buzzed” is still one of the great American pasttimes. And home-grown businesses like small-batch beer brands are taking share from the big players. What’s the next crop that’s blooming — from farm to factory to table (or couch)?  You guessed it! Legal cannabis (medical and recreational) is estimated to generate more than $7 billion in sales in 2016, according to Forbes. More on that tomorrow (along with a list of reputable media you can follow to track the growth).

P.S. Trend research is among our specialties, along with content marketing! Need more information about what’s ahead in YOUR industry? Contact us! My company (theONswitch) will help YOUR business stay one step ahead. We have experience in 40+ industries and all forms of marketing — conventional, digital, and ones you may not have even heard of yet!



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