The flavour expert, MONIN, has shared the findings from its annual Summer Trends report to help outlets prepare for a sparkling summer in 2022.

Typically a time when footfall is high as consumers look to make the most of the sunshine, summer tends to signal a profitable opportunity for outlets. MONIN knows that the last two summers have been particularly hard to navigate, thanks to the pandemic and changing government guidance on limits to social gatherings. That’s why this year MONIN is sharing the findings of its internal report to help operators prepare for the summer they deserve.

The report has identified the key trends that are driving consumers’ purchasing decisions, as well as the most popular flavours and drinks formats.

MONIN’s report has identified that the demand for gin is here to stay for another year. This year, the gin category is forecast to see the second-largest volume gain (after US Whisky) across all international spirits[1]. Much of the category’s 10m-case growth will stem from Europe, as the gin-and-tonic revolution continues to expand its reach and draw new consumers to the category. This means that continuing to incorporate gin-based drinks on menus will be essential to getting the drinks offering right this summer. Lee Hyde, Senior Beverage Expert at MONIN, says: “Gin will remain a big seller this year, so looking for ways to keep the offering fresh will be a key part of nailing your summer drinks menu.

“Gin is a versatile spirit so don’t be scared to move away from the more traditional flavour pairings and offer something a little different such as ‘A Bees Knees (with MONIN Honey syrup) or ‘Twentieth Century Cocktail’ that pairs Gin, citrus and chocolate!

“Recognised as a premium spirit, outlets can work with gin to tap into the continued trend for premium-and-above brands. Growing at a faster rate than the standard segment, premiumisation continues to characterise the drinks category’s development. To really capitalise on this trend, it’s vital to think about the vessels drinks are served in and the garnishes they are served with. Gin-based drinks lend themselves perfectly to this as their flavour profile can be enhanced by simply adding a sprig of rosemary or mint, offering a cost-effective way to elevate your drinks menu.”

According to MONIN’s Summer Trends report, this summer season will see a demand for sparkling cocktails. Signifying both premiumisation and something outside of the everyday, sparkling cocktails can command a premium price point as consumers look for reasons to celebrate with friends. Hyde says Passion Fruit mimosas work really well on menus as does a Torino Spritz. Popular summertime spritz bases continue to include sherry, Campari, vermouth, gin and calvados.

With more than 150 flavours to choose from within the MONIN portfolio, the report also homed in on the must-stock flavours for this summer. Unsurprisingly, fruity flavours are the most popular among consumers during the summer months with flavours such as strawberry, pineapple and peach being repeatedly requested. However, watermelon has climbed its way up the flavour charts this year meaning outlets need to incorporate it into both their alcoholic and no-ABV drinks.

Hyde adds, “With 59% of adults finding mocktail serves appealing, and a market of more than eight million consumers each year[2], operators can’t afford to neglect the No ABV category. No ABV beverages are playing an ever-increasing role within the food industry, and as a result drinks menus need to adapt to put a bigger focus on these drinks. Over the last year we have seen a switch in consumers’ consumption habits. Whilst there remains an appetite for non-alcoholic beers, they are no longer leading the category, with carbonated soft drinks now taking over as the largest segment of the UK non-alcoholic market, accounting for 38%[3] of all sales. This means that quality soft drinks and mixers are a fundamental part of today’s drinks offering.”

Working across both the alcoholic and No ABV sectors, frozen cocktails or mocktails should also be a consideration this summer. Spanning both the drinks and desserts category, frozen beverages offer a unique opportunity to create a bespoke offering at a premium price point. These drinks can be batch made, helping to ease the pressures on both bar and table staff during peak times, and offering consumers something different to a traditional dessert. Frozen Margaritas, Daiquiris and Frośe can work really well on menus.

“Lastly, and this will come as no surprise -” says Hyde “- more and more attention is being paid to environmental sustainability, even at the bar. Therefore, ethical drinks, made with eco-friendly and local ingredients, such as fruit and vegetables, are becoming increasingly popular. Recipes that show they limit waste – such as a citrus-based drink that uses the juice in the ingredients and the peel as a garnish – will become increasingly popular. It is also worth considering labelling menus to show which drinks are ethically sourced or where ingredients come from fair-trade farmers or similar.

For more insight into this summer’s trends, follow MONIN_UK on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, or contact MONIN to find out how they can help.

[1] IWSR Drinks Market Analysis

[2] CGA UK Hospitality future shock report