The bar is a vital node for the alcoholic drinks industry. Bartenders can be influential trendsetters and industry movers. Recognising the role of bars for the industry, the newly-released briefing Spirits in Asia: Trends in Bars through the Social Media Lens seeks to examine key trends across bars in Asia, identify their drivers and examine their relevance in the global landscape. As a supplementary methodology, social media keyword analysis has been performed on over 10,000 publicly available Facebook statuses of the top 35 bars in Asia to gather additional insights into the rise and the cooling down of social media conversation topics in the last three years.
Six trends to watch across bars in Asia:
- The rise of gin: Partly influenced by growing interest in gin in Western markets, and facilitated by rising awareness among local consumers, the category is slowly gaining prominence in Asia, starting from countries with more developed bar and cocktail cultures.
- Hyperlocalisation: Bars and bartenders in Asia are increasingly incorporating local ingredients in their cocktail creations. These include regional spirits, local herbs and spices, as well as fruits and vegetables sourced from local farms.
- Education: As consumers in Asia become more knowledgeable, there is a growing sense of appreciation for the craft behind spirits and cocktails. Masterclasses and workshops, jointly conducted by brands and bartenders, are more popular than ever.
- Sustainability: The sustainability movement is gaining ground in Asia, with more bars adopting eco-conscious practices, such as root-to-stalk and zero-waste bartending.
- Going personal: From customisation to menu simplification, bars seek to offer a less intimidating experience for their customers to allow connections on a more personal basis.
- Drinking going mindful: While still niche in the region, the mindful drinking trend is likely to grow in the medium to long term, as more Asian consumers make conscious drinking choices and shift away from binge-drinking.