While lockdown saw an explosion of online cocktail masterclasses and virtual tastings with experts, as normal life resumed our drinking habits once again changed. Not only are we drinking new things, but the way we drink and socialise has changed too. Hello, bar carts and drinks trolleys.
Just in time for summer soirees, gatherings, and the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday celebrations, Waitrose has revealed the drink trends predicted for this year, including which of its beverages are most popular for online customers.
‘Our customers are more inquisitive and adventurous than ever,’ says Pierpaolo Petrassi, partner and trading director of drinks at the supermarket. ‘Shoppers are also keen to know more about what they’re drinking. They want in-depth information on how and where their favourite tipple is made… The environmental impact of what they eat and drink is also increasingly important.’
He noted that customers are becoming more health conscious, which doesn’t come as too much of a surprise following the pandemic. But demand for lighter seltzers, non-alcoholic options and even veggie cocktails is at an all-time high.
But what exactly are customers buying at the moment?
The bestselling drinks from Waitrose on Deliveroo
- Waitrose Pinot Grigio Veneto Italy
- Beavertown Neck Oil IPA
- San Leo Prosecco Brut
- Birra Moretti
- Henry Westons Vintage Cider
- Oxford Landing Sauvignon Blanc
- Camden Hells Lager
- Stella Artois
- Waitrose Crisp & Floral Italian White
- Brewdog Punk IPA
And for what’s to come? Here’s a rundown of the biggest drinks trends for 2022.
2022 drinks trends
‘Feel-good, retro cocktails with a serious dose of kitsch are back on the menu,’ according to Waitrose, as people make up for lost holiday time during lockdown. Sangria was the most searched-for cocktail recipe last summer and searches for ‘piña colada’ are currently up 40 per cent.
Cream liqueurs are another tipple that we’re loving to indulge in right now, and there’s never been more options on the market, from the new Baileys Eton Mess flavour to Aldi’s Ballycastle Clementine Cream.
Blue Lagoon, Tequila Sunrise and the fruity Mai Tai are also back on the home drinks menu.
READ MORE: Pina colada roulade recipe
There was a major growth in tequila sales during lockdown – Waitrose saw a 127 per cent rise between 2019 and 2021. Spirits buyer John Vine says: ‘People have realised that tequila can be really versatile – it’s no longer just about shots. The rise of celebrity products from the likes of Kendall Jenner and George Clooney has also helped to raise awareness of the category.’
People are keen to switch up their usual choices as well, as recipe searches for Basil Margarita and Smoky Margarita at Waitrose.com were up more than 400 per cent.
Yes, really – veggie bevvies are a thing, and we don’t just mean shoving a celery stick into a Bloody Mary. Waitrose expect to see a lot more cocktail recipes featuring vegetables, herbs and savoury flavours.
Sparkling and English wines
Wine is great, but wine with a little fizz is even better. ‘Our customers now don’t need the excuse of a special occasion to open a bottle of bubbles,’ says Waitrose sparkling wine buyer Alexandra Mawson.
English wines are also holding their own in the market, having established a world-class sparkling wine. ‘Red and rosé English wines continue to be extremely popular at Waitrose – both reported a 70 per cent increase in sales in 2021.’
The climate crisis is something that takes up a lot of our minds nowadays, so naturally, most of us are now considering the impact of the food and drink we buy on the planet.
Waitrose’s wine buyer Barry Dick has some tips on how to buy more sustainable drinks. He says: ‘Up to 40 per cent of a wine’s carbon footprint can be down to the heavy glass bottle. So next time you’re browsing the aisles, why not give bag-in-box wines a try? The bag-in-box format has a carbon footprint up to 10 times lower than glass and keeps a wine fresh for up to six weeks once opened.
‘Canned wines are another great option if you’re looking to drink more sustainably – they also have a low carbon footprint, are easily recycled and are a handy option for picnics, barbecues or if you only want a glass of wine once in a while.’
Cutting back is cutting edge
The no and low alcohol category has come a long way in the last decade and the range is now a far cry from when J20 first hit the scene. With around one in five British adults being teetotal, and 58 per cent of people now drinking more low and no compared to the previous year, drinkers are on the lookout for new and delicious tipples to see them through.
Research by drinks giant Diageo suggests the alcohol-free market will grow 17 per cent over the next two years, to a total value of £273 million. Read more from YOU’s drinks expert Olly Smith and his favourite low and no drinks, which pack a punch without forfeiting flavour.