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Diageo Report Details Key Trends Shaping 2017 Drinks Market

January 20, 2017

In a new “trend report” released this week, Diageo offers a look at a number of cultural and social movements that it believes will significantly impact the drinks industry in the coming year. The report identifies three main developments: the growing desire for “exceptional” experiences among younger consumers; the ongoing trend toward more at-home drinks consumption; and consumers’ desire to “optimize” their drinks repertoire with products tailored to a specific lifestyle or diet.

One example of how Diageo is targeting the “experiential” piece is through its foray into virtual reality programming with The Singleton brand, in which consumers are virtually transported to the Scottish Highlands region where the whisky is produced. Meanwhile, it’s catering to the at-home entertainment trend by partnering with delivery services like Drizly in the U.S. and Deliveroo in the U.K., and with the recent launch of a new Johnnie Walker “digital mentorship” program leveraging digital platforms to encourage consumers to further their whisky knowledge from within their own homes. On the specialty product front, Diageo touts the potential of recent offerings like dairy- and gluten-free Baileys Almande and low-carb and zero-sugar Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer.

The report is the first installment in a new “Future Series” initiative spearheaded by Zoe Lazarus, Diageo’s global future and culture planning director. The initiative is aimed at keeping the company ahead of the curve as emerging social and cultural trends transform the beverage alcohol landscape. —Daniel Marsteller

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