Limited libations, innovative blending, escapism elixirs and more are shaping the way consumers drink in 2024
Singapore, January 10, 2024 – Bacardi Limited, the world’s largest privately held international spirits company, released its fifth annual Bacardi Cocktail Trends Report, anticipating the key trends that will redefine cocktail culture and the spirits business in 2024.
The report, created in collaboration with strategic foresight consultancy, The Future Laboratory (TFL), draws on insights from Bacardi-led and external research, interviews with bartenders and insights from The Future Laboratory to share the themes that are transforming flavour preferences, drink formats, and cocktail experiences in the coming year. For the first time, Singapore was one of the key countries surveyed to create the report, alongside global cocktail giants such as the US, UK and Tokyo – a testament to its standing as a cocktail destination with a role to play in shaping global trends, and to Bacardi’s commitment to growth in this market.
Here are the macro-trends defining spirits in 2024:
- Limited Libations. Next-gen drinkers are embracing a ‘less but better’ approach, continuing to support the ongoing premiumisation era for key spirits and NoLo categories. These trends are reflected in Singapore, with three in ten people stating they will be drinking lower alcohol content cocktails and 34% of the younger generation saying they are going to drink more non-alcoholic cocktails in 2024.
With a conscious approach to the economic climate, consumers are seeking small luxuries – looking to elevated lifestyle products as must-have pieces. This quality-focused shift transforms spirits into coveted collector’s items, with forward-thinking brands enhancing limited-edition bottles through crafted storytelling.
- Innovative Ageing & Blending. 2024 will usher in an era of innovation for dark, aged spirits, with brands embracing unique ageing methods and novel flavour combinations. Singapore’s consumer reflects the move towards bold and unexpected flavour pairings in cocktails.
The top five cocktails in Singapore are the same as globally:
1. Gin & Tonic 33%
2. Mojito 30%
3. Whisky & Coke 25%
4. Bloody Mary 24%
5. Margarita 22%
However – Whisky & Coke sits higher in the top five in Singapore than in the global rankings (where it is fifth), testament to its enduring appeal for the Singapore drinker.
Globally, rum-based cocktails are continuing to grow in popularity and tequila unanimously ranked as the number one premiumisation category, with mezcal named as the next to premiumise.
- Escapism Elixirs. Cocktail culture is transporting consumers across destinations, countries and even eras – as classic spritzes and ornate sips help to recreate nostalgic, convivial moments year-round. This evolution isn’t just about where but also when consumers enjoy drinks. In Singapore, 30% of the younger cohort (18 to 29-year-olds) will have more sundowner cocktails, a third intend to go out to eat at more restaurants and hotels (42% of 18 to 29-year-olds), 32% will order more takeaways and the same number intend to go to more outdoor meetups. 43% intend to travel more worldwide.
The global report states that in 2024 this interest will continue to drive new cocktail formats – from premium jelly shots to frozen slushies and elevated, 80s-style punch bowls. This is the order at The Gibson in Singapore, where sharing punch bowls are presented to guests in elevated serveware and its signature, The Flamingo, is even presented in its own copper bird as a party centrepiece.
- Notes of Nature. In the coming year, consumers will reframe their relationship to the natural world, impacting where they spend their time, the brands they support, and what they consume. With a resurgence in next-gen outdoor activities and a growing emphasis on sustainability, drinks brands are redefining their connection to the environment through intentional ingredients and eco-friendly practices. In the drinks world, 2024 will see brands and bartenders take a holistic approach to nature and its flavours – harnessing sustainably sourced aromatics, florals, botanicals and oils to create cocktail experiences uniquely rooted in nature. According to the Bacardi Global Consumer Survey 2023, in Singapore 67% say they’re willing to pay more for sustainability; 76% for quality; 63% for a lower calorie drink; 64% if it’s organic, and 57% say they’re willing to pay more if the drink shares their societal values. 51% of people will pay more for celebrity branding.
- Tech-Enhanced Tastes. Digital advancements are inciting change in ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ drinks are enjoyed, providing all-new routes to personalisation, brand experience and community. As consumers increasingly seek personalised brand interactions, AI is introducing exciting opportunities for tailored cocktail experiences, accessible anytime and anywhere. For the drinks industry, AI’s evolution will create all-new paths to experimentation and discovery, with brand innovators using the technology as a tool to bring consumers closer to branded cocktails and experiences, regardless of their location. In Singapore, 73% of people would like AI recommendations for drinks. This rises to 80% among 18 to 29-year-olds. However, 63% of respondents say they might miss the emotional and artistic finesse that bartenders contribute to drinks if they were crafted by AI instead. These figures are broadly in line with global in the survey.
“It’s fascinating to see how Singaporeans, and the rest of the world, are settling into the post-pandemic era and how that is being reflected in their drinking choices,” said Denise Tan, Bacardi Customer Marketing Manager (Singapore & Myanmar). “Singapore is an incubator of cocktail innovation, and we can see in this report that our consumers are not only in tune with global trends, but they are helping to shape them. Bacardi is proud to be at the forefront of this as it happens – from redefining modern drinking and the surge in sustainable attitudes, to championing people-driven cocktail culture – we are excited for 2024 and beyond!”