Ashley Leuzinger | April 8, 2019

How The Adult Beverage Category Can Meet Changing Consumer Habits Head On

 

With over 2 billion active Facebook users and over 600 million active Instagram users, there's no denying that practically everyone, even your Grandma, is in some way socially engaged. Nielsen reported 80 percent of users on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are over 21 and 76.1 percent of adult beverage drinkers are on Instagram according to Sprout Social.

This, coupled with the ever-changing consumer, means brands now have a new avenue to speak to potential consumers: socially. And adult beverage as a category is giving rise to influencer content.

In the consumer space, adult beverage specifically has faced its fair share of barriers to market; the use of social influencers can help overcome these challenges. There is more competition than ever in the adult beverage category and brands need every available tool in their arsenal.

Advanced analytics allows beverage brands to target an influencer's age-appropriate audience.

Anyone in the adult beverage world knows advertising guidelines are controlled through the Federal Trade Commission and are extremely limiting in order to prevent advertisers from potentially exposing messages to consumers under legal drinking age. These barriers have traditionally limited brands from many pre-shop tactics, in addition to preventing brands from driving to specific retailers or establishments. However, through the use of more advanced analytics within social platforms, brands are able to target messaging to appropriate age-relevant consumers, resulting in a drastic increase in brands present in platforms like Instagram.

Men Drinking Adult Beverage Outside

Influencer content leverages rising social trends and breaks through clutter.

Beer and spirits consumers are going for quality over quantity, resulting in a decrease in volume, but increase in overall sales. Less is more in the mixed space, with a focus on basic drinks with few, quality ingredients. And today's consumers are overwhelmed with new products and brands available on shelf but looking for inspiration. Obvious trends include the boom of craft beers, while consumers are also shifting to products like rye whiskey, low-carb or low-cal beers, and more portable options such as canned wines and seltzers. In 2017, 66 percent to 76 percent of consumers reported drinking at home once per week, compared to 23 percent to 26 percent who reported drinking once per week on premise.

This Instagram post showcases the trend toward rosés while leveraging a second trend of grilled fruits. The piece by Eat.Drink.Shrink has garnered 10,000+ views in a matter of days. And Patriotic Vodka Berry Sorbet takes advantage of seasonality and a creative use of an adult beverage, which appeals to millennials and their constant quest for something new.

Influencers help drive trial and conversion.

Consumers don't buy a brand because they like the brand; they buy the brand because they like their friends. Brand loyalty is decreasing by the minute. Consumers see someone they trust, like a friend or influencer, share a brand on a social platform, and with that exposure, they are now more likely to try that brand. Letting the consumer speak for you is a sure-fire win to help not only introduce new users or groups to your brand or category but also to drive trial and conversion.

In the past year, Inmar's Collective Bias has executed over 30 influencer marketing campaigns in the adult beverage category for Tier 1 brands spanning the Beer, Wine and Spirits categories. The influencer content posted on Blog and Instagram posts has received over 900 engagements per post, which is 1.5X more engagements per post compared to the general Food and Beverage category. This activity represents viewers acting on the content and sharing with their friends.

While barriers to marketing these brands will continue to exist, social influencers can absolutely help brands adapt with the ever-changing consumer interest. While we track engagement, Food and Beverage campaigns average the highest time spent on content. Compared to traditional advertising tactics like in-store signage, commercials, and billboards, social influencers are authentic, real-life voices, not media. And these voices and their creativity not only put a face behind a brand, but also provide consumers with inspirational usage occasions.