Welcome to the 

Photography by Billy Huynh

Are the years getting shorter or is it just us? Glad you agree because 2021 came and went in the blink of an eye — but not without its successes, challenges, and lessons. As we reflect on 2021, we want to say thank you to our clients, friends, and family for an extremely rewarding year. Spirited Media would not be the same without the influence and support from you. One of our favorite highlights of 2021 was having Spirited Media recognized as one of the Top Texas Social Media Marketing agencies by DesignRush.

So why was 2021 such an interesting year? We saw the industry pivot into a few directions. Here are some of our favorite trends:

  • Ecommerce/DTC/Online Sales: However you refer to ecommerce, the consistent growth of online sales has us excited for the consumer and their buying power. With the added reach of online sales, brands have a chance to connect with a larger audience including new fans they wouldn’t have connected with otherwise
  • RTD/Canned Cocktails: We feel like this category grew faster than flavored vodkas (don’t quote us on that). But in 2021, similar to many categories, the RTD and canned cocktail brands have leveled-up their products to meet the consumers’ refined palate. Consumers are turning to craft canned cocktails and are drinking brands that are transparent about all aspects of the company. 
  • Cannabis: We’ve all seen the CBD stores popping up left and right. Now that it’s legal (in some places), you will start to see cannabis products taking up more shelf space whether it’s in the dispensary or your local retailer. Consumers are looking for brands that cater to their active and more mindful lifestyle. With cannabis products promoting relaxation, sleep, pain relief, and more – the adventurous consumers have started to shift their attention to these brands. 
  • Non-alcoholic brands: As we said before, consumers are looking for brands that cater towards a more active and mindful lifestyle. We’ve seen the sober-curious movement take off this year and brands have shifted towards this trend with nonalcoholic wines, spirits, and mixers. No more Sunday scaries here! 
  • Grain to glass: Maybe it’s just us (it’s not), but we love transparency. Brands who are walking the walk of the grain-to-glass movement are ensuring their fans and consumers know exactly what is in the bottle. This means highlighting the local farm they sourced their grains from, the mashbill of the liquid, and the distillation process. Transparency is key and it’s what consumers are looking for. They want to know who they’re supporting, and what they’re drinking. 
  • Cause Marketing/Brand Ethos: Consumers are more loyal to brands whose values align with theirs. It’s not enough to use your marketing budget to push your company and products. Now more than ever it’s important to show what you stand for. 62% of Gen Z and Millennials say they enjoy buying products that show their ideology.* We know you have causes and passions you support – now is the time to make them an integral part of your brand story.

All of these trends are expected to gain more traction and market share in 2022 and we are here for it. So whether you’re looking for an industry partner, friend, or expert to take your brand to the next level, we’re here. See you in 2022 – we hope you have a happy and safe holiday season! 

*5WPR Consumer Culture Report, 2021

Spirited Takes

December 27, 2021

Reflecting on 2021: Trends in the Beverage Industry