Recycling, taxation and fast trade to shape commerce in 2023 – analysis – Drinks Retailing News

It is clear that next year will be another year of uncertainty for home trading. The recession looks set to continue for the foreseeable future, putting financial pressure on manufacturers, retailers and consumers. But 2023 will also bring legislative changes that will impact businesses.

Scotland will see the implementation of a deposit system to cover single-use plastic, steel, aluminum and glass containers. Buyers will be asked to pay 20p per container, which may be reclaimed when the container is returned. The impact will differ between categories: 20p on a £20 bottle of gin seems minimal compared to 20p a can on a pack of 15 beers, which adds £3 to the price. It will be a huge logistical operation and prices will have to be watched closely.

It remains to be seen if or how consumer behavior changes – will they change their beverage choice, or package size, or leave the category all together?

Although the program involves a refundable deposit, the impact of the so-called sticker shock on basket spending at a time when budgets are stretched will likely change the way people shop. Manufacturers will need to be nimble to respond, particularly in beer and cider, which are most at risk, given the importance of multipacks in these categories.

The new alcohol duty system will be implemented across the UK at the start of August 2023. It will bring significant savings for products with an alcohol content of less than 3.5%, we can therefore expect reformulations and innovations, especially in beer and cider.

There is a consumer appetite for more moderate alcohol consumption, so there will also be growth below the 3.5% abv level. In spirits, products below 22% abv will face lower tariffs, making categories such as liqueurs more attractive. There will also be commercial developments that companies will need to watch out for.


Rapid commerce – e-commerce focused on fast, on-demand delivery – is an opportunity for BWS producers. With stretched budgets, consumers could replace eating out with take-home meals, and there are big gains to be made for those who can take advantage of this, by understanding the path to purchase and by how it differs from brick-and-mortar or conventional purchases. on line.

Another major trend is the growing importance of the home consumption experience. Takeout now has 3.6% more alcohol volume sales compared to the equivalent period in 2019 (year-to-date, through September 10). Lockdowns meant more drinking opportunities were enjoyed at home and many of those clearly stuck around.

Google searches for cocktails saw a surge at the start of the first lockdown in 2020 and this surge has continued over the past two years as consumers make their own drinks at home.

RTDs are capitalizing on this trend to bring the cocktail experience even more easily into the home. We can expect this to continue next year with new products entering the category. Hard seltzers, despite much publicity, will be under pressure to justify their listings as other RTD alternatives enter the market.

And finally, 2023 could see the popularity of home beer taps gain in popularity. The format draws a lot of attention and is a great way to add some drama to the home drinking experience.

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