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Trends in the Distilled Spirits Industry? Or are they pivots?

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

The distilled spirits industry has always been a dynamic landscape that continually evolves, with trends driven by changing consumer preferences, technological advancements, and a quest for innovation. Major economical swings, politics, changes in social norms and social-dynamics have often played pivotal rolls as well. We've had ALL of those lately. So what are people doing? Here are some "Trends" or "pivots", or Trivots if you like.

1. Craft Distilling's Resurgence Amidst Supply Chain Challenges

In the wake of supply chain disruptions, the resilience of craft distilleries comes to the forefront. Smaller-scale producers, renowned for their agility and adaptability, have become a beacon of hope amidst scarcity. Their ability to source locally, pivot ingredients, and swiftly adjust production methods enables them to mitigate the impact of supply issues more effectively than larger operations. Their emphasis on artisanal craftsmanship and community ties has not only sustained their businesses but has also garnered increased consumer attention seeking unique, locally rooted experiences.

2. Sustainability as a Response to Supply Chain Pressures

Supply chain disruptions have catalyzed a significant reevaluation of the word "sustainability" within the industry and what that truly refers to. Distilleries are not only embracing sustainable practices as a response to environmental concerns but also as a strategic move to mitigate risks associated with supply chain vulnerabilities. From Using bottles that might normally be produced for a different beverage type all together, to sourcing raw materials ethically to implementing eco-friendly packaging and reducing waste, distilleries are redefining their operations to create a more sustainable and resilient future.

3. Innovative Aging Techniques: A Solution to Supply Shortages

The shortage of traditional oak barrels due to supply chain disruptions and a looming oak shortage has propelled distillers into a realm of experimentation with aging methods. Using alternative woods, smaller barrels, and accelerated aging techniques isn’t merely about flavor exploration; it's a practical solution to circumvent barrel shortages. These innovative approaches enable distilleries to maintain the quality and distinctiveness of their spirits while adapting to constraints in the supply of traditional aging vessels.

4. Health-Conscious Choices Aligned with Global Shifts

The evolving landscape of health concerns and shifting consumer preferences has led distilleries to introduce healthier options. Low or non-alcohol and low-calorie selections cater to health-conscious consumers seeking a balance between indulgence and wellness. These offerings not only align with changing lifestyle preferences but also serve as a response to global health shifts, addressing consumer demands for more mindful drinking choices.

5. Technology as a Supply Chain Savior

Technology integration has emerged as a vital lifeline for the industry amidst supply chain disruptions. Online platforms, mobile apps offering cocktail recipes and experiences, and smart devices facilitating at-home mixology have enabled distilleries to maintain consumer engagement and accessibility despite the physical barrier. This integration of technology has helped bridge the gap between distilleries and consumers, ensuring continued interaction and brand loyalty.

6. Flavors and Fusion: A Creative Response to Uncertainty

Gin is in. The quest for unique flavors and creative fusions has intensified in response to the unpredictable availability of traditional ingredients. Distilleries are venturing into diverse botanicals, spices, and fruits, not merely for taste innovation but also as strategic alternatives when faced with sourcing challenges. This creative exploration allows distilleries to offer a diverse range of products while adapting to the fluctuating availability of ingredients.


Amidst supply chain disruptions and global uncertainties, the distilled spirits industry showcases its resilience and adaptability through these in-depth trends. Craft distilleries, sustainability initiatives, innovative aging techniques, health-conscious options, technology integration, flavor exploration, and inclusive branding signify not just industry responses but transformative strategies shaping a resilient and progressive future. As distilleries navigate through challenging times, they continue to redefine norms, innovate, and set higher standards, ensuring a spirited future driven by resilience and innovation.


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