Global Data’s latest report, on how the alcohol industry adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic has found three consumer trends. These are as follows:
- New Socialising,
- New Initiatives, and
- More Health.
With the reduction of on-trade alcohol sales such as in bars, pubs, and restaurants, the trend is that alcohol use switched to the home – meaning new ways of hanging out and being social in a world of physical distancing rules.
Big Alcohol has adapted by premiumization as well as budget friendly options.
Premiumization is how Big Alcohol attempts to create the “bar experience” within home environments. Budget friendly options are targeting younger people who are facing financial constraints due to the pandemic and reduced work or job loss.
These are the alcohol industry’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) type marketing and brand building efforts. For example many alcohol companies produced hand sanitizers. While these appear like CSR activities they are actually marketing and promotion efforts for alcohol producers to build brand image among people – and they help avoid waste alcohol, which would be extremely costly.
Movendi International reported from early on how the alcohol industry has been using the COVID-19 pandemic for their own benefit.
One of the most unethical trends is the ‘more health’ trend. This is where Big Alcohol markets alcohol as “Better for you” with low calorie or low sugar content.
This trend targets young people who are more health conscious.
The alcohol industry has also been marketing their products as coping tools during the public health crisis – a very harmful practice as studies show that people who use alcohol to cope with anxiety, stress and difficult emotions are more likely to develop alcohol problems.
Health Experts have spoken out against this “wellness” alcohol marketing trend.