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This article reflects my observations from the recent article in The Telegraph newspaper by Daniel Woolfson, dated June 18, 2023, titled “First shrinkflation, now drinkflation: Beers get weaker as brewers scramble to cut costs.”
Isn’t it mind-boggling that everything is getting more expensive these days? If your monthly energy bill or mortgage installment doesn’t convince you, a simple trip to the grocery store will! As if things weren’t taxing enough, our beloved pint of beer hasn’t been spared either. Welcome to the era of “drinkflation.”
Drinkflation, Supermarkets, and the Great ABV Reduction
“Drinkflation” refers to increasing alcohol prices due to inflation and other economic factors. As production costs, taxes, and raw material prices rise, alcohol brands are forced to adjust their pricing strategies, leading to higher consumer prices.
So what is “Drinkflation,” you ask? Picture your favorite beer bottle, but only weaker – that’s right, less alcohol but with the price tag either stubbornly clinging on or climbing higher. It feels like being pickpocketed without anyone even touching you. It’s just like “shrinkflation,” where that bag of chips you love isn’t shrinking only in your imagination, and the price? Oh, that stays the same or even grows.
Imagine entering your local British pub and ordering a Fosters, Spitfire, Old Speckled Hen, or Bishop’s Finger. These are not just beers; they’re a part of our identity, weekends, and game nights. But here’s the kicker – the alcohol content, or as the pros call it, ABV (alcohol by volume), has been cut down in recent months. So, your favorite beers aren’t packing the same punch anymore. Why, you ask? Well, it seems that our brewers are dancing to the tune of their own inflation squeeze.
Consumer Response to Drinkflation
The impact of “drinkflation” on consumers is twofold. Firstly, it affects their purchasing power, as shoppers must allocate a larger portion of their budget to buy their favorite alcoholic beverages. Secondly, it influences consumer behavior, prompting them to explore alternative options, such as trying new brands or opting for a lower-priced alternative.
Breweries, Taxes, and the Unexpected Boon of Healthier Habits
The brewing giants have taken a simple and effective path to reduce costs. By reducing the ABV in beers, they’ve found a sneaky way to save on tax levies, which are charged based on the percentage of alcohol. A small reduction in ABV might seem insignificant, but when selling beer by the truckload, these pennies saved on each bottle can quickly add up to a hefty sum.
Amid all this, you might be worried that your cherished beer is losing its soul and strength. However, The brewing companies assure us they have the situation ‘under control.’
According to them, the subtle art of brewing reduces alcohol content without compromising the taste. But does a weekend beer-guzzler like you or me buy that? Only our taste buds can be the judge of that.
Social Media: A New Age for Alcohol Sales
The impact of 2020 has left an indelible mark on our lives, subtly seeping into our day-to-day habits. It has ushered in a new age for the alcohol industry, pivoting it sharply towards digital channels, with online alcohol sales skyrocketing by a staggering 42% in 2020.
The physical restriction imposed by the lockdown merely amplified an existing trend. As the digital era evolves and expands, it seems the future of alcohol sales is set to be dominated by e-commerce sites and, perhaps more significantly, social media platforms.
The TikTok Revolution and the Importance of Visual Appeal
Regarding digital platforms driving alcohol sales, one cannot ignore the rising titan – TikTok. This vibrant social media platform has been gaining popularity among the younger, tech-savvy, and drink-conscious generation.
For proof, look no further than the #alcohol hashtag, which managed to gatecrash TikTok’s top 100 most popular videos in 2020. With an astounding, combined view count north of 300 million, it’s clear that the platform holds immense potential for brand recognition and future sales for alcohol manufacturers.
Visual appeal has become paramount as people increasingly turn to their screens for everything – from catching up with friends to grocery shopping. We eat or, in this case, drink with our eyes first. How a product looks on screen could make all the difference between a swipe to the next page and a click to the shopping cart.
That’s why packaging has become a crucial element in the e-commerce battleground. Companies increasingly invest in creative, eye-catching designs that promise to stand out on a crowded social media feed and lure potential customers into purchasing.
How does “drinkflation” connect to Prosecco.com?
Mastering Market Shifts
With market shifts like “drinkflation,” we at Prosecco.com react strategically to keep our brands relevant and attractive.
Our Threefold Approach: Bella Principessa, Signorina, and Bella Vino
Like breweries, we’ve turned to digital. Each brand has its own online charisma and narrative.
In this visual era, our distinctively designed packaging draws the eyes and narrates each brand’s story.
Conclusion: Forward March
In a rapidly evolving alcohol industry—where “drinkflation,” the emergence of low-alcohol beers, and the rise of digital sales are reshaping the landscape— Prosecco.com isn’t just keeping pace; we’re seizing the opportunities these changes bring. This era marks a dynamic shift in drinking habits driven by economic realities, health trends, and digital media influence.
As we look to the future, we anticipate more innovations in the industry and changing consumer behaviors. Amidst all these transformations, our commitment to our customers remains steadfast: to deliver an unforgettable Prosecco brand experience with every sip, across every platform, and for every occasion.
What is ‘drinkflation’?
Drinkflation refers to the phenomenon where beers are made weaker (less alcohol content), but their prices increase or stay the same.
Why are breweries reducing the alcohol content in their beers, and does this affect the flavor?
Breweries are trimming the alcohol content primarily for profit; even a slight ABV reduction can save significant money when selling in bulk. This change also aligns with perceived health-conscious trends. While breweries use careful brewing techniques to maintain flavor, individual tastes may still perceive a difference.
What role do supermarkets play in inflation?
Supermarkets, often being the biggest customers for breweries, exert pressure to keep prices low. As a result, breweries find ways to cut costs, like reducing the alcohol content in their beers.
What does the future hold for traditional beers with the rise of low and non-alcoholic beverages?
While traditional beers might face challenges in the era of ‘drinkflation,’ this shift also opens up new avenues. With the trend of ‘mindful drinking,’ low and non-alcoholic beers could see a rise in popularity, leading to a potential transformation in the brewing industry.
What are the most popular social media platforms for alcohol brand promotion?
Alongside Facebook and Instagram, platforms such as TikTok and YouTube have also gained popularity among alcohol brands for their ability to reach and engage with a broad audience.
How can alcohol brands effectively navigate the impact of “drinkflation”?
To navigate the impact of drinkflation, alcohol brands can focus on innovation, offering various products at different price points. Additionally, building strong brand loyalty through storytelling and creating unique experiences can help mitigate the effects of rising prices on consumer behavior.