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Alcohol Market Innovation: Why Trying Out New Brands Is Important


Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the early months of 2020, conversations surrounding the alcohol market have rocketed. While bars, clubs and restaurants were forced to close their doors, supermarket alcohol purchases soared higher than ever before.

As a result of increased demand, more and more innovative brands are entering the alcohol market. In this blog, we’ll dive into the topic in more detail and discuss why trying out new alcohol brands is so important!

How Many New Brands Enter the Alcohol Market Each Year?

Despite the initial impact of COVID-19 on the alcohol and hospitality industry being so negative, it’s becoming clearer by the day that the sector is bouncing back. According to SevenFifthDaily, we’re entering an alcohol golden age – powered by an explosion of new brands and their booming popularity.

While we can’t be sure of the exact number of brands entering the market each year, it’s possible to get a picture of the growing number. One US distribution company (MHW Ltd.) saw an increase of 36% in new brand entrants through June 2021 compared to the previous year. This is a striking figure, especially when you consider that this time marked a peak in the global pandemic.

Why Are So Many New Brands Emerging?

Pinning down the reasons for the new-brand boom isn’t easy, but a few factors have definitely had an impact.

In 2019, the alcohol industry’s e-commerce market was only worth $3 billion, minimal compared to other future-thinking sectors. Now take a look at the latest figures: 2020 recorded $5.6 billion, and predictions suggest they’ll reach $40 billion by 2024.

The move to online sales has made it easier than ever before for new brands to break into the market, formerly relying on inside contacts or expensive marketing to gain traction. With the rise of social media and viral content, emerging brands finally have a chance to take the market by storm.

Success Rates

Bringing new alcohol brands to the market isn’t easy in this day and age. The market is saturated with household names, and breaking through the noise to secure purchases is the biggest challenge new entrants face. The question is: are innovative new brands succeeding in their mission?

Broadly speaking, the answer is yes. While accurate figures will come through in the years to come, we’re already seeing new brands making headway in the alcohol space. One example of a new business that enjoyed a successful launch is 21 Seeds, a woman-owned line of naturally-infused flavoured tequila. This new brand built a robust digital presence to make its offering known like the more prominent industry leaders.

There’s certainly no guarantee of success, but we can be sure of one thing: the future of the alcohol business looks brighter than ever.

The Rise and Reign of the Cocktail Craze

While RTDs (Ready-to-drink) experienced the most significant growth of any beverage in the alcohol industry last year, recording an increase of 26.4%, cocktails continue to boom. Since party-goers and ravers alike are finally allowed to re-enter their former playgrounds, it’s natural that cocktails are back on the rise.

While the classics continue to enjoy widespread popularity, one of the things people love most about cocktails is the opportunity for innovation. New spirits, liquors and mixers provide endless possibilities for new sensations, only enhanced by the growing alcohol market.

Consumer Trends in the Alcohol Market

Trends in every industry are shaped by the world around us, and the alcohol market is no exception. Lifestyle changes as a result of COVID-19 changed the way we drink, and the digital age continues to impact the market potential of the beverage industry.

Some of the key trends of the current moment include:

  • RTD (ready to drink) cocktails
  • At-home cocktail making (and a desire for new ingredients…)
  • Mexican or Mexican-inspired liquors
  • Health-conscious and eco-conscious drinking
  • Online shopping and distribution

Why Trying Innovative New Alcohol Brands Is Essential

Whether we’re talking about food, tech or music, it can be tempting to stick with what you know. For bars and clubs alike, serving well-known names can often feel like the safest option in a heavily saturated market. However, in a post-pandemic world, consumers are looking for innovation.

Here’s why trying out the newest alcohol brands is essential for your success.

They Bring Something New to the Cocktail Craze

The global pandemic fuelled a whole craze when it came to at-home cocktail creation, but this trend is set to continue as we re-enter the outside world. As a result of this newfound interest in mixology, more and more consumers are looking to experiment with the drinks they purchase.

Offering innovative alcoholic beverages could be the answer to spicing up your at-home recipes or drawing up a fresh menu for new customers to enjoy. Drinks like Agwa de Bolivia, Bad Angel liqueur or Mickey Ginn could be the answer you’re looking for.

They’re Challenging a Traditional Market

In an age where big business continues to dominate every market, surely we have a responsibility to support innovation when it makes a stand? The alcohol industry is heavily saturated, but innovative new brands have something fresh to offer. By challenging a traditional market, they’re keeping every beverage business on their toes and delivering a modern challenge to the sector.

AGWA: Taking the Alcohol Market By Storm

One of the innovative alcohol brands making waves in the industry is Agwa, renowned as the only coca liqueur in the world. It promises to deliver on all of the South American flavours, enjoyed straight as a long drink or infused into cocktails for the ultimate fiesta. One of the best things about new-brand innovation is the exciting new ingredients emerging products use in their process. Agwa is undoubtedly unique for that reason.

The Coca Leaf

It’s not uncommon for liqueurs to use natural ingredients in their production process, but Agwa is the only brand currently making use of the flavoursome coca leaf. By hand-picking and harvesting Bolivian coca leaves from 2000 metres above sea level, this emerging brand offers something new to the alcohol market. Leaves are dried, macerated and steam distilled to produce a unique alcoholic extract which is then infused with a range of exciting ingredients.

The Exciting Varieties of Agwa

While the central ingredient of Agwa remains the same, the brand has several flavour varieties to offer. Their original product, Agwa de Bolivia, provides the most authentic taste when celebrating the uniqueness of the coca leaf. Delivering a slightly musky aroma with overtones of dried fruit, this version is a bittersweet beverage bonanza.

The brand currently offers two other unconventional varieties: Agwa Diablo and Agwa Coca Blue. Striking in bright red and electric blue, these beverages make the perfect addition to any connoisseur’s collection. Diablo combines Agwa’s coca leaf liqueur with ginger, Sicilian blood orange and red galanga for a South American flair – perfect for adding to a seasonal citrus-based cocktail. In comparison, Coca Blue brings something new to the table with African mint and French lavender for a floral twist.

For customers looking for an aesthetically pleasing bottle and the brightest new flavours on the market, Agwa really does tick all the boxes.

Babco: Global Alcohol Distribution

Our passion lies in connecting people with the newest alcohol brands on the market. We’re a leading international alcoholic beverage provider, currently distributing to South Korea, China, India, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the UK and the USA. Our mission is to bring back the alcohol-fuelled excitement of a bygone era before commercial rationalisation took hold. Once upon a time, natural ingredients, exceptional taste and excellent quality were the norm – our products reawaken the market to the brands that tick those boxes.

Trying out new alcohol brands is vital for various factors established throughout this post, but the goal of heightening quality and innovation remains at the top of our list. While the alcohol business pivots and rises once more in a post-pandemic world, we’re excited to see how new and emerging drinks shake our industry.

Are you interested in supporting the bright new age of alcohol innovation? Want to experiment with unique brands on the market? Contact Babco Europe today through our website and discover a whole new world of possibility.