Cheryl Hunter (research at marklives.com)’s weekly wrap of the latest market and consumer research:
- Booze battles
- Social strategy lessons
- Pets on the go
Key trends shaping alcoholic beverages industry
The global alcoholic beverage industry is undergoing several significant changes at present and, while there’re good opportunities for growth and innovation, there’re also several challenges on the horizon, many of which are relevant to the local market. This is according to “Key Trends in Alcoholic Beverages: Powerful changes shaping the wine, beer, spirits and alcohol-free beverages industry, a report released last week from MarketLine.
The trend for premium products in both the beer and spirits industries has spawned the craft industry and this has been shown to be a particularly difficult nut to crack for big beer producers, with almost all significant growth in the industry coming from this particular segment. A similar process is taking place in the spirits market, with multiple old-fashioned products (eg gin) getting craft revival and premiumisation.
A concerning spectre haunting the industry is the coming cannabis craze, with big industry players preparing to bolster themselves against it.
A powerful industry trend is that people are drinking less; in particular, younger consumers are choosing to consume less alcohol because of the health impacts and this is leading to newer alcohol-free products that are making good progress. As consumers are looking to moderate alcohol consumption, they tend to buy less spirits but opt for higher-quality products.
The wine industry also has a difficult fight on its hands. It finds its legendary production regions suffering from reduced grape yields as a result of more-severe weather patterns and this is resulting in new countries emerging as market players.
Traditionally, alcohol-free products have been a rather small portion of the overall alcohol market, but there is a new rejuvenated interest in the segment as it’s become clear over the last decade that alcohol consumption rates are going down on the whole in many global regions, particularly in developed ones.
WARC reveals social strategy trends for effective marketing
WARC has just released its Effective Social Strategy Report 2018, which outlines key social trends drawn from the winners of the Effective Social Strategy category of this year’s international WARC Awards, a global-case study competition designed to reward next-generation marketing effectiveness.
Says Lucy Aitken, WARC managing editor, case studies, “We’ve been documenting the evolution of social strategy since 2014. During that time, social has changed in the media mix from an activity designed to generate conversation, participation, sharing or advocacy to a broadcast medium for online video and, in many instances, a support medium for bigger integrated campaigns that also use TV. Social is now firmly established in the media mix, though its ability to connect with communities in highly unique and memorable ways continues to make it distinct.”
Four key themes have been identified for an effective social strategy:
- Human connections drive social success
Some of the best-performing campaigns saw significant sales increases by appealing to people in a human or humorous way.
- Social video formats diversity
Video is key to successful social campaigns, with more executions across more platforms, offering greater scope for iteration.
- Communities of interest
Many winning brands skillfully used social as a way to connect with particular communities.
- Built-in discoverability
The year’s awards spawned a handful of social-by-design campaigns that demonstrated the value of a discoverable idea — presenting value that is relevant to a consumer, at the time and place where it is most relevant to them.
Growing demand for petcare products
There is a booming US market for pet products that are portable and durable, with innovative features that minimise the stress of pet ownership on the go. This is according to new research by Packaged Facts, “Durable Dog and Cat Petcare Products, 2nd Edition”, which shows projected growth rates through 2022.
Of paramount importance in this market is the promise of convenience via high-tech features and automation, from self-cleaning litter boxes to automated feeders and waterers to “smart” collars using Bluetooth technology and offering monitoring capabilities.
The new ‘connected’ lifestyle, brought to the fore by the growing incursion of online retailers into the pet market overall, has spurred innovations across the entire product spectrum, with smart products appearing in every durables category. Safety and comfort also factor in heavily, with pet owners seeking out top-quality items that will both protect their pets and provide a comfortable, stress-free environment.
Cheryl Hunter (@cherylhunter) has written for the South African media, marketing and advertising industries for more than 15 years. A former editor of M&M in Independent Newspapers and contributor to Bizcommunity, AdFocus, AdReview and the Ad Annual, she has also produced for various television networks and currently consults on communication strategy and media liaison. She now does the new weekly “Market Research Wrap” column for MarkLives.com.
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