From sustainability to consumers having the power, Bacardi’s global head of marketing travel Ignacio Vazquez Guerra reveals the top five trends which have “accelerated” the spirit industry post Covid, instead of being a “permanent disrupter”.
Speaking on a panel at Shoptalk Europe at London’s Excel Centre on Tuesday 7 June, Bacardi’s marketing boss highlighted the affect of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the other challenges the industry is facing.
Guerra joined Bacardi in December 2014, joining from Phillips Consumer Lifestyle. Prior to this he held senior positions at Codfarmers and Diageo, where he was the global brand manager for Captain Morgan Rum.
As a result, the spirits expert revealed the five top trends for the spirits industry:
Digitalisation and ecommerce
In the ‘Changing Grocery and FMCG Relationships’ talk at Shoptalk Europe yesterday, Guerra warned that digitilisation and ecommerce has “has gone through the roof” since the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a result, he said it is an important trend as it’s “completely changes the way consumers interact with brands and retailers, putting them at their hearts and really handling the power to them.”
He added that it is becoming “very demanding” as well in terms of customers wanting everything their way.
“They were thinking they want everything fast,” Guerra said. “For me it’s a massive change in terms of consumer behaviours and consumer dynamics.”
The second trend the Bacardi boss revealed was that customers simply want to want to drink better.
This was made evident earlier this year, when supermarket Waitrose revealed its premium own-label and sparkling wine was the driving force behind the supermarkets sales over the festive period.
According to Kantar, the premium own-label sales broke records last Christmas, with shoppers spending £627 million on supermarkets’ own lines over the four weeks to 26 December, an increase of 6.8% from 2020.
Health and wellness
“There is also another interesting trend about health and wellness, which I think is happening across all categories,” Guerra added.
He attributed the growth to low-alcohol and non-alcoholic alternatives.
This comes as sales of low-alcohol and no-alcohol beers have almost doubled in the past five years. This resulted in Bernstein analyst, Trevor Stirling, saying the UK had become “one of the hotspots” for growth in low-alcohol and no-alcohol brewing.
Guerra added that “sustainability is something pretty much every consumer demands from a brand”.
following a survey conduced by the spirits company revealing 78% of consumers would buy a product if it is sustainable. Of those, more than 80% would be willing to pay 15% extra to be reassured that the product is both reliable and sustainable.
Hygiene is also a very “important factor”, according to Guerra, because not “only it influences the equity of your brands, but also actually influences the purchase decision”.
He concluded: “All of these trends have reset the way in which we see consumers, and how we have seen consumers traditionally.
“For me, the biggest change really is in the fact that now consumers are sitting on the power side, it’s very easy to any consumer to now change to a different brand, or change to a different retailer in just one click.”