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BevNet Live: 2024 Beverage Industry Forecast

Recently, our team attended the BevNet Live event in Marina del Rey, a hub for the latest trends and forecasts in the beverage industry. As a Shopify Plus development agency, we’re keenly interested in how these trends impact e-commerce and direct-to-consumer (DTC) strategies.

Here’s a comprehensive look at the key takeaways from the event, with a focus on what to expect in 2024.

General Beverage Industry Trends for 2024

  1. Non-Alcoholic and Health-Conscious Beverages on the Rise: Expect continued growth in non-alcoholic and ‘better for you’ beverages. This trend caters to health-conscious consumers seeking healthier alternatives.
  2. Functional Drinks Gain Traction: Functional beverages, offering health benefits beyond basic nutrition, will continue to grow in popularity. These are beverages enhanced with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and adaptogens.
  3. CBD and THC Infused Drinks: The market for CBD and THC-infused drinks is expanding, tapping into consumer interest in wellness and relaxation.
  4. The Sober-Curious Movement Beat Goes On: Consumers are increasingly exploring sobriety but still purchasing alcoholic beverages, indicating a nuanced shift in consumption patterns which is prompting traditionally alcohol-only brands to expand their product offerings.
  5. Focus on Operational Efficiencies: Brands are shifting from ambitious expansion to prioritizing execution, operational efficiencies and profitability.
  6. Unlocking Capital and Investment in 2024: The beverage industry is set to witness an unlocking of capital and investment, focusing on sustainable growth.

Beverage Industry Brand Trends

  1. Minimalist Packaging and Design: Brands are adopting a ‘less is more’ approach, favoring simplicity and minimalism in packaging, design, and branding.
  2. Flavor and Format Innovation: Expect continuous innovation in flavors and formats, offering new and unique consumer experiences.
  3. Real Ingredients Matter: There’s a growing preference for beverages made with real, natural ingredients.
  4. Demand for Experiential Beverages: Consumers are seeking more than just a drink; they want an experience, indicating a shift towards products that offer something unique and memorable.

Ready-to-Drink (RTD) Trends

  1. Growth in Off-Premise RTD Sales: Off-premise sales of RTDs are growing significantly, showing a 23% year-over-year growth.
  2. Emergence of New Players: While dominated by larger players, new independent brands like Mom Water and Carbliss are gaining momentum with unique go-to-market and direct-to-consumer strategies.
  3. Lower-Alcohol Products Drive Sales: The trend towards lower-alcohol RTDs is leading to an increase in units sold.
  4. Decline of Seltzers and Rise of Spirit-Based RTDs: With seltzers having peaked, spirit-based RTDs are gaining momentum.

DTC Beverage Trends

  1. Growth in DTC Alcohol Sales: eCommerce sales of alcohol are growing, driven by consumer convenience and evolving shopping habits. DTC for food and beverage brands could include benefits such as more consumer insights, brand control in messaging and identity, and enhanced AOV.
  2. Relaxation of Alcohol Delivery Laws: States are loosening alcohol delivery laws, facilitated by advocacy from groups like The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
  3. New Entrants in Alcohol Tech: The alcohol tech space is witnessing a surge in new entrants, focusing on compliance with distribution laws and innovative sales methods.
  4. E-Commerce Platforms Adapting: Platforms like Shopify are adapting to support the growing demand for online alcohol sales, including improvements in payment processing.

The insights from BevNet Live 2023 highlight significant trends shaping the beverage industry. As a Shopify Plus development agency, we are positioned to help beverage brands navigate these trends, particularly in enhancing their eCommerce and DTC capabilities. Understanding these trends is crucial for brands looking to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving market.

Stay tuned for more insights and updates from the beverage industry as we continue to explore and adapt to these exciting trends!

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