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The drinks trends of 2022 (according to Bacardi)

December 7, 2021

You can see it now. After almost two years of a locked-down, buttoned-up existence, 2022 will be big - and what’s in your drink will be more important than ever.

Or at least that’s the conclusion of the seminal Bacardi Cocktail Trends Report 2022, which was released this week.

Made in collaboration with consultancy group The Future Laboratory, this comprehensive report draws on insights from Bacardi-led consumer and brand ambassador surveys, interviews with the bar and restaurant trade, Nielsen CGA data, and The Future Laboratory’s independent research to set out what has been big in 2021 and what will be trending in 2022.

The result is well worth a look, even if it has a noticeable Bacardi spin (and is obviously focused on spirits and cocktails).

The five key trends of 2022 (according to Bacardi)

Luxury libations: the premiumisation of spirits and cocktails

This is a big one. According to the Bacardi Global Brand Ambassador Survey 2021, 50% of bartenders globally report that their customers are drinking more premium drinks. In most developed countries, alcohol consumption is either dropping or flatlining, and the trend is to drink less but better. It’s not just developed countries - a post-pandemic desire for luxury experiences is being felt across sectors beyond spirits, too. In China, the pandemic spurred a 10% boost in sales of luxury goods, according to the Boston Consulting Group. Tequila, gin and dark rum are considered the spirits most likely to be ‘premiumising’ (what a horrible word that is) too.

Digital drinking: the online world driving the future of drinks

This isn’t a new trend, but it’s everywhere. According to McKinsey, society experienced five years of digital transformation in the first eight months of the pandemic alone, with a concurrent boom in e-commerce that is a societal turning point, putting everything very much digital-first. The concept of hyper-local delivery is more interesting, with super fast delivery services (like the Uk’s Getir that promises groceries in 10 minutes) and suggests even more of the ‘to-your-door’ convenience being king in 2022.

Seeking sustainability: drinks with a conscience

There’s a stunning stat buried in this trend that every drinks brand should acknowledge - 30% of people around the globe are willing to pay up to 10% above the listed purchase price for brands that support social justice or sustainability causes. For everyone in the liquor industry, it follows that similar support can help to improve your venue's bottom line. Further, sustainable packaging and more ‘natural’ ingredients are both singled out in this trend, an acknowledgment that what’s in your drink (and what it’s packaged in) now genuinely matters.

Consumption Reconsidered: no and low alcohol is here to stay

The low and no alcohol category even has its own catchy name now - NoLo. Nielsen CGA research reveals evidence of this trend globally, with their survey showing 58% of people drinking more NOLO than a year ago and 79% eager to introduce more NOLO options.

Transformative times: everyone needs a drink

Here is some good news that everyone in the industry needs to hear. According to the Bacardi Consumer Survey 2021, more than 40% of global consumers plan to spend more time going out to bars, pubs, and restaurants in 2022. This quote is a good one too:

“The post-lockdown drinker in the inter-Covid era is looking for meaningful nights out and social experiences. Prepared to invest, they’re opting for quality, especially in crafted cocktails that can be enjoyed and savoured rather than downed and forgotten.”
Chris Sanderson, The Future Laboratory.

Oh, and what cocktails will drinkers be looking for in 2022, according to Bacardi? 

One of 2022's most popular cocktails

The five most popular cocktails of 2022

  1. Mojito
  2. Margarita
  3. Gin and tonic
  4. Pina colada
  5. Vodka soda
  6. Rum and Coke
  7. Martini
  8. Bloody Mary
  9. Daiquiri
  10. Irish Coffee

You download the full report here.