Searching for an edge

Brands adapt to meet the needs of a changing youth culture

YOUNG adults today are arguably one of the most diverse consumer groups imaginable.
With everything from cocktail culture to reality TV influencing purchasing decisions, the firms behind some top brands have offered their assessment of the market as well as some suggestions for the future.

Johna Penman of Midori said young adults are always looking to recreate their on-trade experiences at home with their friends so retailers should pay attention to what’s happening in the on-trade.

“The off-trade can capitalise on this by making the most popular on-trade drinks available in-store,” she said.  
Penman reckons that when visiting pubs and clubs, young adult drinkers like to try new drinks, with cocktails proving particularly popular, upping their exposure to new serves.

“Cocktails are always a popular drink and research shows that 84% of consumers prefer fruity flavours when it comes to choosing their favourite drink,” said Penman, who reckons this presents an opportunity for retailers to cash in with flavoured spirits and liqueurs such as Midori Melon Liqueur.

Fruit flavours have long been a big hit with young adults and Amanda Grabham, head of brand marketing for WKD parent firm SHS Drinks, suggested this is a trend that’s still going strong.

She said: “Fruity alcoholic drinks are as popular as ever amongst 18 to 24 year olds, who are the key consumers of alcohol RTDs.”

However, Grabham said there are signs that brand owners need to make the image of RTDs relevant to young adult consumers, as youth culture has shifted since the category’s 90s heyday.

“Young adults are now inspired by brands such as Nike, Apple, Starbucks and Beats by Dre, which combine an air of sophistication with sociability and fun, and which resonate with the way young adults live their lives today,” she said.

The sophisticated edge present in today’s youth culture has been targeted by spirits giant Diageo through the launch of Bailey’s Iced Coffee.

Launched in 200ml cans, the two new variants, Latte and Mocha, are currently being backed by a sponsorship deal with TV show Made in Chelsea, which returned to screens on 20 March.     
Baileys marketing manager Sam Salameh said that the new product launch will “allow consumers to enjoy a mini moment of indulgence during casual get-togethers with friends, both in and out of home, whilst offering a significant profit opportunity for retailers.”