Since the days of David vs. Goliath the underdog has won out over the big guys. As the leading food and drink agency, the underdog or as we call it ‘challenger brand mind-set’ is one we love. There is nothing better than shaking-up a market with a new entrant who can re-write the rules and take no prisoners. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for the big household names and we are lucky enough to work with a number of food and drink big boys across foodservice, convenience, retail and consumer markets, but even when we’re working with the established names we bring a challenger brand mentality to bear.
For an event entitled Alcohol Trends and Innovations the day’s conference included a surprising amount of content around the drive for low and no alcohol. Doubtless driven by those pesky Millennials and Gen Z lot who don’t seem to value the good old fashioned binge drinking culture my generation and those before worked so hard to establish (only joking). Equally the omnipresent march of the health and wellness trend, will have had a fair amount to do with it, as consumers look to reduce calories, drink less and generally consume more wholesome food and drink. That’s not to say volume drinking is dead, Jägermeister themselves don’t condone or promote the ‘Jägerbomb’, but there is no denying this consumer-led ritual is alive and well in UK bars and clubs. However, despite the UK having a drinking population of 30 million (the large majority of whom, 96%, drink within the recommended limits, with only around 4% straying into the realms of ‘a problem’ – I’ll refrain from naming any beans) there is an overall trend for consumers to drink less, but better, with an increased focus on the quality, provenance and brand story. Drink still plays an important part in our social culture, both out of home in bars and restaurants (on trade) and when purchased in retail to drink at home (off trade).
As a leading food and drink agency, specialising in foodservice, retail and convenience, we make it our business to stay on top of the latest trends. Pulling key tangible insights from market information and trends data is crucial to the work we do with our clients and therefore attending events such as the MCA debrief comes high on our agenda.