Global beverage consumption trends are evolving. In the U.S., researchers have found a deep connection between demographics and alcohol consumption.

While each country may show vast differences, here in the U.S., we can see differences between states and regions. Being the melting pot of cultures, we have people from all over the world living here, and their backgrounds have a lot to contribute to the numbers.

A recent study released by the University of California, Davis’ Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics states that socioeconomic and demographic variables play a role in these persistent spatial differences among groups.

They studied and applied four decades of annual national, state, and supermarket scanning data to reach their conclusions. While the U.S. leads in global alcohol consumption, the data is not consistent across the country. Some states display more per capita consumption than others and show different types of alcohol consumption.

Here’s a quick overview of the study across the last 40 years:

  • Market share of premium wines has grown
  • Shares of both spirits and wine rose at the expense of beer
  • U.S. market share of premium craft brewing has grown
  • Mass-produced, low-priced beer has fallen
  • Globally, traditional wine-consuming nations are shifting towards beer while beer-drinking countries are increasing their consumption of wine

So, what accounts for these differences?

In a world where prices are similar across the nation, trade barriers are diminishing, and markets are well-integrated, one would imagine that U.S. alcoholic consumption patterns would be more consistent. Along with prices and income, culture plays a major role in and beverage preferences.

Sustainability is a recurring theme across industries this year, and it’s no different in the wine industry. The wine world is invested in dealing with climate change.

To that effect, 2020 will see more experimentation and research in wine-producing regions aimed at the various ways of reducing resource use in wineries. When it comes to wine consumption, globally, consumers are moving towards higher-end rosés, “appassimento” wines from Italy, oaked Chardonnay wines, and “natural” and “low intervention” wines. We can also expect to find more vegan stickers on wine labels.

According to a KPMG report, craft beverages will continue to grow in 2020 and beyond. Along with craft beer, we will see more innovations in super-premium craft tequila and mezcal, ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails, sparkling coffee and sparkling tea, small-batch whiskey, bourbons, gins, and nonalcoholic mixers across the globe.

The other major beverage trend is the world of CBD-infused drinks. CBD-infused beverages have significant growth potential. A growing number of consumers look at CBD as a functional ingredient with health benefits, though not all claims are backed by science.

To this end, functionality is the buzzword in 2020, and beverage manufacturers are using this opportunity to enhance their products with supplements and expand on the concept of drinks as medicine for preventive health benefits.