Crowd Intelligence and Beverage Alcohol Trends

Beverage alcohol is one of Canada’s most dynamic consumer categories. Innovation in the category is happening at a dizzying pace! Many of the new products in the spirits, beer and wine categories are focused on creating a premium quality positioning that leverages uniqueness and elevated brand cachet.

Research Strategy Group recently used our Crowd Intelligence platform to ask Canadians about the potential success of a number of these innovations and trends.

Rum is a category that has been growing steadily for the last several years. Consumer interest and trial was stimulated by the introduction of spiced rums and the proliferation of rum based coolers. The latest trend is barrel aged rums. Most distillers have used barrel aging in the past for blending aged rums with younger rums to achieve a desired taste and colour profile. Now 100% barrel aged rums are being heavily promoted by major and specialty distillers alike. These rums are clearly catching on as consumers indicate there is a 70% probability that barrel aged rum will be a best seller in 2018.

Companies in the beverage alcohol sector are always looking for new ways to flavour beverages. We asked consumers about several flavours and additives to see which has the best probability for growth. Of the flavours tested, coffee and hibiscus flavoured alcoholic beverages were having a moderate chance of success (44% and 35% respectively). Beverages flavoured with Lilac or Lavender were having little chance of success (both 13% probability). Highlighted in the news recently is speculation that companies may produce alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks that contain CBD from cannabis as an additive. Time will tell whether the use of CBD as an additive will become a reality. Consumers on our Crowd Intelligence platform however see a high probability (72%) that such a thing would be a passing fad, not an enduring and growing trend.

In the wine category, new varietals and wine producing regions are coming online at an accelerated pace. Wine sections at retailers are becoming increasingly large and complex as brands compete aggressively for new customers. Anything that seems new and different has a chance to stick out in the crowd and generate trial. One such standout is “Black Wine”. Black wine is a very dark red wine from Cahors France, the home of the Malbec grape. Consumers on our Crowd Intelligence platform indicated that there was a 77% probability that Black Wine sales would continue to grow throughout 2018.

We shall see if their prediction is on target. Many wine writers see Black Wine as displacing Rose as the trending wine variety!

Contact Chris Wiggins for more detail at