Heady brew: Network Evening enters the spirit

16 : 02 : 2012 Immersive : Pharmaceutical : Ginseng

London – LS:N Global’s Drinks Network Evening went down nicely last night, as expert speakers decanted some key trends and insights from the beverages industry.

Speakers and visitors explored and debated themes such as e-tailing, speakeasy bars and Revivalist drink recipes. The result was an evening infused with revelations on how consumers will respond to the drinks industry in the future.

Get in the spirit
Alex Kammerling, founder of new Kamm & Sons Ginseng Spirit, revisited the origin of spirits when they had medicinal properties. His new drink brand uses the active properties in ginseng, and borrows design cues from old-fashioned medicine bottles and pharmaceuticals.

Speaking easy
The impact of Revivalism on drinking has provoked a greater level of discernment among consumers. Edmund Weil, owner of East London speakeasy The Nightjar, has repurposed the notion of a speakeasy to fit a new target audience.

Chemical sister
A prevalent drink trend that LS:N Global has been reporting on is e-tail. Ruth Ball, chief alchemist from liqueur brand Alchemist Dreams, has created a website where people can mix, blend and tailor liqueurs to fit their personal taste, and even design the packaging.

Theatrical cocktails
Thomas Aske, owner of The Worship Street Whistling Shop, is providing customers with theatrical experiences surrounding cocktails. ‘Consumers want a sense of theatre in how they drink,’ says Aske. ‘Whether it is dry ice or exploding cocktails, you need to offer something immersive.’

All about tea
Tea merchants All About Tea founder Andrew Gadsden shed light on the tea industry, and how rituals and behavioural traits surrounding the UK’s favourite drink have seen it largely reserved to consumption in the home. ‘The coffee and tea markets are fundamentally different,’ says Gadsden. ‘Tea needs to fundamentally change in the way that it is delivered to customers in shops, if it is ever to become as popular as coffee outside the home.’

Polarised expectations
Addie Chinn, editor of drink journal The Boilermaker, outlined prevalent trends in the drinks industry. Chinn explained how drinks are becoming polarised, with customers either expecting traditional Revivalist recipes, or wanting futuristic recipes.

‘Drinks trends fit into two directions at the moment – Revivalism and ultra-futurism,’ says Chinn. ‘The next trend will be more pure, raw, simple and uncomplicated – focusing on cocktails and the integrity of ingredients, with just two or three simple components.’

For more key insights on the beverages market, read our Drinks Futures report.

LS:N Global will be posting daily videos of the evening’s speakers throughout the next week.

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