Trending Now: The Current State of the Spirits Industry

Read Time: 4 min.

Have you heard the term “sober curious” yet? If not, you’re likely to hear it in casual conversation sooner than later. This catch-all term covers a wide variety of behaviors around drinking, but generally means “to choose, to question, or to change your drinking habits for health-focused reasons (mental and/or physical).”

As distilleries and alcoholic beverage manufacturers stay current in today’s world, they must learn how to adapt to the changing landscape of a greater focus on health and wellness. Here’s what’s going on in the spirits industry overall, how it trickles into the tequila industry specifically, and how high end tequila brands can adapt their products and marketing to this new way of drinking.

The Search for “Healthy” Alcohol

Not long ago, drinking alcohol was considered totally unhealthy or even off-limits for those who took their health very seriously. But now, boutique fitness studios and personal trainers are actually advising their clients on which alcohols to drink and which to abstain from. The sober curious movement has also caused many to question the ingredients in their beverages and to cut back on drinking significantly if not altogether.

In a society that has access to information at all times and prioritizes scientific fact, the spirits industry must find ways to appeal to these health-conscious consumers. Non alcoholic beverages like soft drinks and seltzers are selling more while the wine industry has taken a hit. As summarized in a Forbes article, “Nielsen CGA’s latest data shows that soda drinks were the most popular option (46%) for last year’s Dry January participants, and U.S. retail sales of soft drinks are experiencing 2.9% growth in the past year.”

So what makes an alcohol considered healthy or unhealthy? And which types of spirits are people gravitating toward when they do decide to drink? There are a few factors at play regarding alcohol and the health trend.

Why Tequila?

When it comes to alcohols that are considered healthy, tequila is high on the list. Perhaps it’s previously been associated with wild nights and rough mornings, but now health and fitness experts are saying otherwise. This gluten-free spirit contains agavens, sugars from the agave plant that can lower human blood-sugar levels and have even been found to decrease appetite in mice in a study conducted by Dr. Mercedes Lopez. This makes tequila an ideal alcohol for drinkers with diabetes and celiac disease, as well as those who suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity, hypoglycemia, and hyperglycemia.

Another study by Dr. Lopez found that “the blue variety of the Agave tequilana has substances capable of improving the absorption of calcium and magnesium, essential minerals to maintain bone health.” These findings have highly positive implications for those with osteoporosis or other bone density issues.

The tequila industry is also well aware of what’s not in their alcohol. While bottom-shelf brands might have an excess amount of corn syrup, pure agave spirits do not. Agave-based spirits like premium tequilas and other mezcals don’t contain cane sugar either. So not only are they smoother and healthier to drink, but they don’t come with the next-day hangover.

And if you need any further proof that agave spirits are the trend of the present and future, consider this: according to experts, blanco tequila (100% agave tequila) “contains a lower level of congeners than dark spirits and red wine… Congeners are substances like acetone and tannins that are produced during fermentation and aging, and studies show they may worsen hangovers.”

How To Create A Lifestyle Drink

When it comes to creating a premium spirit that sells, it might surprise you to find out that it’s far less about the flavors or ingredients than you may think. In order to build a profitable beverage brand, it’s crucial that the product is marketed as a lifestyle drink.

The Canned Cocktail Craze

As consumers become increasingly more aware of what ingredients they’re putting into their bodies, reading labels is becoming a way of life. Today’s consumer is far more educated about ingredients in food and beverages, as well as more empowered to make decisions and track down their favorite brand rather than settle for something less healthy.

As a result of this trend, canned cocktails have soared in demand. Today’s drinkers want trackable ingredients with full visibility and no secrets. They want to be sure that what they’re drinking fits in their macros, doesn’t contain allergens or anything they’re sensitive to, and has the precise alcohol and calorie content they’re looking for.

The tequila industry is highly regulated on ingredients and displaying strict standards can certainly behoove high end tequila brands. The US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) requires tequila to contain at least 51% agave in order to be called “tequila.” However, the rest of the drink might contain any number of artificial ingredients. If a patron orders a cocktail at a bar, they truly have no idea what they’re getting within that drink. So canned cocktails have become a way to advertise profile purity and healthier ingredients.

The Aceves Spirits Experts

If you’re thinking about starting your own agave-based spirits brand, it’s a great time to invest in the tequila industry. Now is the opportunity to reach a variety of demographics all focused on living healthier and consuming products that won’t disrupt their wellness journeys.

Take advantage of this health trend’s peak and the popularity of canned cocktails. If you’re ready to start the conversation about your premium tequila brand, reach out to Aceves Spirits. We’re a reputable, highly knowledgeable integrated beverage developer based in the world’s oldest and best-known location for tequila production. We can ensure your drink meets the health standards you want for your target market and guarantee product purity.