New research from Chicago-based IRI, which recently merged with The NPD Group, reveals elevated at-home beverage alcohol consumption is here to stay. Despite high inflation concerns, retail price increases for beverage alcohol remain more moderate than other CPG categories. IRI’s 2022 Midyear Alcohol Update highlights that many consumers are opting to celebrate and socialize at home, especially given challenges in on-premise, driven by labor shortages, rising prices and reduced menus.

Insights from the new report can enable retailers and manufacturers to make better merchandising and promotional activity decisions to enhance the shopper experience and drive growth and profitability, the market research firm notes.

“Consumption trends continue to fluctuate with the impact of supply chain challenges and rising inflation, but opportunities for growth remain,” said Scott Scanlon, executive vice president of the Beverage Alcohol Vertical for IRI, in a statement. “This report provides an outlook on the state of the beverage alcohol industry and areas ripe for innovation. Consumers are looking to indulge and create entertaining experiences at home, and retailers should emphasize premium products and products with unique attributes in this space.”

The following are other key findings of IRI consumer research revealed:

    As consumers adopt healthier habits, better-for-you beverage alcohol options and alternative alcohol products continue to gain traction.

    New twists on familiar favorites, interesting flavor combinations and contemporary claims are popular with consumers.

    Premium beer and wine and super-premium spirits continue to drive growth.

    eCommerce remains a viable channel for beer.

The research noted some implications and opportunities for growth:

    With increasing inflation and rising competition among retail outlets, promotions will be an essential strategy in retaining shoppers.

    Ready-to-drink cocktails are a growth opportunity, but brands need to have a point of differentiation.

    Marketing should focus on giving consumers options and inspiration for at-home entertaining occasions.

    eCommerce is an integral part of a consumer's shopping experience and is important for omnichannel success.