Beer trends set to be popular in 2022

Beer trends set to be popular in 2022

Beer is perhaps the most popular alcoholic drink in India today. It has become a lifestyle product, having found increasing acceptance as a social drink and a clear preference among young people. Beer sales are expected to have lost some of their buzz during the initial lockdown phase, but this was a temporary hit in an otherwise continuous growth trajectory. As the economy recovered from the Covid-induced crisis and Covid vaccinations progressed rapidly across the country, business in bars and restaurants has rebounded. In June 2021, after the appeasement of the second wave of Covid, the activity of bars and restaurants recorded a growth of 40.2% compared to June 2020.

Despite the ups and downs of the past two years, things are sure to improve in the coming year and beyond, from a beer lover’s perspective. Here are some of the big trends we can expect.

(Also read: Top 8 Food and Food Trends That Shaped 2021)

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1. Flavor and sparkling will be a winning combination: Flavors have become an important factor in loving and consuming beer. Today’s consumers are much more experimental and open to trying new flavors. Beer is a generational product category, and for this generation beer means a different flavor and a different experience for every occasion. This understanding of consumer preferences has helped beer brands like ours build a strong connection with consumers. I think taprooms are a great way to get people to try new flavors and get their feedback; it helps us come up with the idea for the next beer. Current trends suggest a growing demand for exotic fruity flavors and premium beers.

2. With beers that are low in alcohol and without alcohol, we can actually drink to our health: Consumers are increasingly aware of the health quotient of the foods and beverages they enjoy. The market is responding with a wide range of drinks containing little or no alcohol, and beer offers one of the widest ranges of low-calorie variants available today. Bira 91 Light, for example, with 80 calories in a 330ml bottle, is less caloric than a glass of champagne, wine, cocktails or even a glass of milk or orange juice!

3. Location no bar … people will enjoy the beer at home: With restaurants, pubs and bars across the country limiting their seating capacity in accordance with Covid protocols, and with greater caution from consumers themselves, there has been an increase in beer consumption at residence. This accelerated trend may return to its original rate when the pandemic subsides, but it is a trend that will continue strongly nonetheless. Six in ten alcohol consumers in India were willing to buy alcohol online if given the chance, according to a survey last year.

4. The packaging will be respectful of consumers and the environment: We’ll see eye-catching beer packaging designs – the Bira 91 Malabar Stout packaging, which evokes Rudyard Kipling’s jungle book, is one example. There will also be more emphasis on packaging that fits well with consumers’ lifestyles. With the increase in home beer consumption, multipacks such as Bira’s six-pack bottles or 12-cans will become the preferred option for storing beer at home. Meanwhile, as consumers increasingly seek products that can be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner, beer makers will look to develop eco-friendly and reusable packaging.

5. Beer brands will create more engaging online user experiences: As the influence of digital and social media increases, beer brands will create more new online touchpoints to engage with their audiences in meaningful and personalized ways, which will also deliver tangible business results. With beer being a lifestyle product, beer brands will explore merchandising options such as glassware, service items, clothing, accessories, and more to strengthen their connection with consumers.

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Barring unforeseen and unexpected situations, beer will continue its winning streak of innovation, discovery and acceptance. The beer market in India is growing rapidly and I predict it will double by 2030 compared to 2020. I think by 2030 almost 25% of the Indian population will be consuming beer; one in three consumers will be women; and almost two-thirds of beer will be consumed in small towns. On that note, let’s hope and be optimistic that people all over the world can once again enjoy great beer with their loved ones.

About the Author: Ankur Jain is the CEO and Founder of Bira 91.

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