They say that variety is the spice of life.  On the eve of the Super Bowl, Americans are experiencing unprecedented parity in not only the sport that they love, but also the alcoholic beverages that they consume during the big game.

Since 2010, there has not been a repeat participant in the Super Bowl.  Four years, eight different teams.  Gone are the days of one or two dominant dynasties.  Each year, hope springs eternal in each fan base, making the sport more popular than ever before.

This same sort of effect is now starting to be seen in Americans’ alcohol consumption.  More and more, the traditional domestic beer giants that have long dominated the landscape are beginning to cede ground to a stronger field of competition, with everything from sparkling wine and cake-flavored vodka to craft beer looking to make their mark and create their own passionate fanbase.

Much has been made among the in-crowd about the craft beer movement, but American’s lust for variety transcends just pilsners and hoppy IPAs. Take for example, the recent explosion of alcoholic or hard ciders onto the marketplace, a trend mainly driven by the youngest drinkers of legal drinking age.  Mintel research finds that half of men aged 22-34 say they drink hard cider, and 44% of women of the same age group. Older men are also partaking in the hard cider movement, with nearly 30% of men aged 35-54 imbibing in the popular drink.

“Many domestic beer drinkers who are cutting back are making the switch to the wine, which has siphoned off nearly 22% of those who say they are drinking less domestic beer”, says Jennifer Zegler, Global Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel.   “In 2013 alone, Mintel Global New Products Database finds that there were more new wine launches than all alcohol product launches combined in 2009.  The demand is certainly there to justify the supply, with wine sales reaching $42 billion in 2013.”

All of this just goes to show how the landscape of what alcohol Americans’ choose to drink is constantly changing and evolving, and manufacturers have been well served to cater to consumers’ diverse and maturing tastes.  So while you’re sure to see plenty of the customary beer commercials come Super Bowl Sunday, there will be millions of Americans at home raising a wine glass or a cider bottle, instead.  Because in America, everybody loves an underdog.

For more information about the US beer market, click here.

 

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