New research claims food pairing apps could entice young adults to try different alcoholic drinks.

The art of pairing food with alcoholic drinks, particularly wine, is a well-established and common practice. Mobile apps, however, are starting to offer a novel way of encouraging consumers not only to pair food and drinks more often, but to consider beverages other than wine when doing so.

In its latest research, consumer insight firm Canadean has found that 35% of consumers worldwide see food pairing as a key consideration when choosing alcoholic drinks. However, this behaviour is more prevalent among older adults than younger ones, as the figure rises to 43% of those aged 55 and over, but decreases to 26% for 18-24 year-olds. The company therefore believes social media and apps will be crucial tools in encouraging younger consumers to think about food and drink pairing more often.

Ronan Stafford, senior analyst for Canadean, explains: “Encouraging young adults to consider pairing alcohol with food will be a crucial way to grow volumes of wine, beer and even some spirits. “Brands need to use highly visual social media platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat, and even beverage-dedicated apps, to demonstrate to young adults the exciting experiences offered by food and drink pairing.”

In April 2016, Bloomberg reported that Snapchat users were watching 10 billion videos a day, up from 8 billion in February. Stafford continues: “Forget 140-character Tweets – social media is now a visual medium. Videos provide appealing ‘hero’ shots of the food and drink, help to explain the pairing thought process, and educate consumers.”

In addition, the recent success of Pokemon Go shows the potential for augmented reality, with apps featuring phone cameras to layer new pieces of information in front of what consumers can see. Dagschotel beer, from Brouwerij Martens in Belgium, already uses this technology, with characters on the beer labels coming to life when scanned by a phone.

“There’s lots of apps for wine and food pairing available,” advises Ronan. “One example launched this year on the iTunes platform is Pocket Wine Pairing. Other wine spotting apps, such as Plonk, also have pairing recommendation functions built in to them as an additional feature.”

Other food pairing apps to try:
Total Wine & More
Food for Wine Pairing Pro
Pair It!
Wine Genius
Beer Sommelier