With the holiday season in full swing, retail store aisles and endcaps are more likely to be packed with sweet treats to help consumers celebrate this time of year. Although food and beverage manufacturers continue to develop products that support healthy, better-for-you solutions, indulgent offerings still remain a key component to consumers’ consumption habits.

In an October blog post titled “How to make cream liqueurs trendy again,” Jonny Forsyth, associate director of Mintel Food & Drink, recognizes the challenges that cream liqueurs have experienced as consumers increasingly seek out healthy beverage solutions. However, the market research analyst elaborates on the opportunities that beverage-makers could seize to help this spirits segment give consumers a reason to indulge when they imbibe.

“Cream liqueur brands have often ignored the cream, perhaps wary of drawing attention to an ingredient associated with high fat content,” Forsyth writes. “Brands can take inspiration from how other categories such as artisan ice cream or gourmet butter communicate the quality of their dairy produce.”

Among the ways that brands could achieve this is by making cream liqueurs “more permissible,” Forsyth states. As an example, he highlights Baileys Almande, an almond milk liqueur. Citing Mintel Purchase Intelligence, he points out how the vegan liqueur underperforms consumers’ perceptions when it comes to taste, yet outperforms consumers’ perceptions on healthy or natural.

Cream liqueur products like Baileys Almande or others of that ilk could benefit from embracing healthy and natural positions. In Beverage Industry’s 2018 New Product Development Outlook article that was published in January, natural was a top rated consumer need/interest with 62 percent of respondents giving it a high rating. Healthy and clean label were tied at No. 2, as 47 percent of survey-takers listed these product attributes, respectively.

This time of year also can provide a seasonal boost for cream liqueurs. Taking advantage of holiday flavors, Tippy Cow Rum Creams added Peppermint Bark to its line of seasonal offerings.

“Tippy Cow’s reputation for being able to match and bottle iconic sweet, creamy flavors continues with Peppermint Bark,” said John Reiter, president of Midwest Custom Bottling, in a statement. “Tippy Cow Peppermint Bark gives consumers a reminiscent taste experience that will bring back holiday memories with every sip.”

Mintel’s Forsyth also sees cocktails as an opportunity for cream liqueurs, particularly in combination with coffee options. “With coffee cocktails trending, Baileys has placed its Flat White Martinis onto restaurant dessert menus,” he writes. “It has also used social media to tap into the alcoholic milkshake trend.”

Although hydrating and functional beverage trends are on the rise, it seems as though opportunities still abound for indulgent alcohol drinks.