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Challenges for Alcohol Manufacturers with Rising Health Trends

For today’s blog, I asked one of my Clarkston colleagues and blogger, Donterious Cook, to share what he thinks alcohol manufacturers can do to overcome the empty calories of alcohol. Donterious has worked with several world class beverage manufacturers and has expertise in sales, marketing, and customer loyalty.

As health trends sweep the nation, consumers are continually reminded of the “empty calories” in alcohol. Consumers have mobile apps that count their calories and personal trainers that recommend cutting alcohol from their diets. Many consumers’ diet strategies are to save calories during the week and cash them in on the weekends.

“Saving My Calories for the Weekend”

Many people believe alcohol will never go out of style regardless of calories. However, these same assumptions may have been made about the soda industry several years ago. So, what can alcohol manufacturers do to tackle the stigma around those empty calories?

A look into wine demonstrates one of the most influential ways of branding alcohol: identifying and creating value for consumers. The considerable health benefits that have been identified from having a glass of wine have placed wineries in a position to combat its negative perception. Giving consumers a reason to value products allows companies to ease customers’ minds, reducing the risk of losing customers and sales volume.

Branding products comes down to defining what it is that your loyal consumers value. Craft beers and small-batch cocktails have brought a local vibe to consumers who enjoy feeling that they are supporting their communities and enjoying a drink made exclusively for them. Value can also come through marketing, as we see in Bud Light’s Superbowl ad, which tells the story of an “Epic Night” that associates the beer with fun and spontaneity, or the automatic connection between Corona and a beach vacation.

Light beer in general has been a popular choice among consumers, allowing them to watch their caloric intake and still enjoy the beverages they love.  Skinny Girl Cocktails is also capitalizing on the health conscience markets by offering lower calorie cocktails targeted toward women. Opportunities exist in the market for leaders in the manufacture of lower calorie alcoholic beverages.  However, the opportunity to take advantage of the better-for-you trend is bigger than healthy alcohol options in the long term.  Find the most valuable facet of your brand or product and make the most of it.

Engaging with Target Audience

So how do beer, spirit, and wine brands better engage with their target audience?

  • Innovative Solutions will remain critical as industry players introduce transformational new product lines to keep pace with trends.
  • Strategic Branding and Market Penetration could open the door for many brands to capitalize on the growing health trends. 

As the market evolves, how is your organization keeping pace with these changes?

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