Blog post

What to expect in Drinks in 2016 - Mike South Predicts

  • Posted by Mike South
  • on Thursday November 26, 2015


First it is the turn of our FMCG recruitment co-founder Mike South. Here are his 3 predictions for the beer sector in 2016 that are all interlinked.

Beer has seen two major shifts in 2015. There has been a clear move by some brewers towards premiumisation – differentiating themselves from the majority of the competition – and towards creating an ‘experience’ for the consumer.


Mike thinks that 2016 will see:

“Further premiumisation, innovation and a focus on creating an ‘experience’ will make certain brands standout in the beer category”

Let’s have a look at that in more detail:


#1 Premiumisation

Premiumisation was a category trend in 2012 – 2014 but it has not showed signs of dying down. The craft beer boom has further heightened the importance of the brewing process and the quality of the ingredients. Having detailed knowledge of these high-end products are key – so brands communicating this message is so importance.

We have recently seen the installation of several tank beer outlets for Pilsner Urquell’s unpasteurised Czech beer an increase in branded glassware and news of significant growth the Asian market – which has seen off-trade premium products grow significantly.

So be on the lookout for further premiumisation in 2016 and new initiatives in the on-trade and the increase in off-trade sales of premium products.


#2 Experience

Businesses are looking to create experiences around their products. Camden Town Brewery and London Fields Brewery are two examples of craft businesses running experience events for the consumer (and showcase their products.)

On a larger scale, the House of Peroni is designed to try and increase brand loyalty by creating an authentic Italian experience with Sicilian curated food and Peroni infused cocktails showing off the brand and its origins.

I think that there will be a rise in the amount of beer and food pairings in 2016. The Telegraph ran an article in the summer arguing that beer is a better match for wine with food and businesses have caught on to this.

BrewDog have launched a food focussed venue in Islington, a campaign backed by the British Beer Alliance called #BeerMatch has launched to help consumers match beers with their meals and other companies, like Estrella, creating food based experiences. There is even a push for matching beer and cheese!

Be on the lookout for more and more of these experiences next year…


#3 Innovation in 2016?

Craft breweries are driving a lot of the changes in the beer industry and I think this will continue in 2016. One thing I think we will see this year is more and more craft beers being canned. I’m not talking about the usual Carlsberg or Fosters 440ml cans but smaller Coca Cola sized cans of speciality beer.

Rather like stubbies in Australia and smaller cans in the USA some craft breweries are already producing these smaller quantities of beer. You can have a look at the Independent’s Top 10 canned beers here from the likes of Beavertown, Camden Town Brewery and Brooklyn Brewery.

I think that the likes of BrewDog introducing canned products into supermarkets, new technology meaning the beer is less likely to spoil or taste metallic and a more savvy consumer drinking less in volume but from more sources has created the perfect market for these products to thrive in 2016. 


Next week we will have Nick Priddle's Top 3 predictions for the FMCG Drinks sector. 

To make sure you see Nick's blog post sign up to our FMCG Recruitment mailing list 


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