The Flavored Beer Trend Is on the Rise

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Sunlit Glass of Beer on Table

Brace yourself, beer purists. The market for flavored beers — whether pumpkin, habanero and jalapeno peppers, grapefruit, peach, chocolate or coconut — is growing fast. And millennials are largely responsible.

In 2010, about 15 percent of new beers launched in the United States were flavored products, but in 2015, flavored beers accounted for 27 percent of all U.S. beer launches, according to a new report by the market-research firm Mintel. That’s an 80 percent rise in just five years.

What’s more, in 2015, as many as 20 percent — one out of every five – beer drinkers reported that they had drunk flavored beer, and 57 percent of beer drinkers who said they had increased their consumption of beer said they had done so due to the broader variety of flavors available.

The trend is most pronounced with young women ages 22 to 34, 39 percent of whom drink flavored beers. However, overall, 58 percent of all people who drink alcohol in the U.S. report interest in fruit-flavored beers. Meanwhile, 45 percent of all U.S. alcohol drinkers are drawn in by spicy beers, and the same percentage are intrigued by tart- or sour-flavored beers. Forty-nine percent say they’re interested in beer that has been blended with juice, tea or soft drinks.

“Innovation and a wider variety of beer options — including styles, flavors and packaging formats — could help to stave off stagnation and retain the patronage of beer drinkers,” Beth Bloom, food and drink analyst at Mintel, said in a release highlighting the new research.

Bloom maintains, however, that the flavored-beer trend “differs from the boom seen in flavored vodka a few years back in that flavored beer launches are exploring more adult formulations and steering clear of gimmicks such as whipped cream, coconut cream pie, and Dreamsicle varieties.”

Dreamsicle beer? Now, there’s an idea …

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