Martin Pasco
Martin Pasco is a Mintel Food & Drink Senior Global Analyst, monitoring and engaging with the latest innovations and market developments in Spirits and Wines, and some food categories.

With international travel – even to continental Europe – still remaining limited, there are opportunities for alcoholic and soft drinks brands to help enhance TV spectators’ experiences of the upcoming UEFA Euro tournament and other upcoming summer sports events such as the Tokyo Olympics 2021. We explore how drink brands can offer international flavours for sports fans to enjoy while watching the games from home.  

Transport taste buds with flavours from competitor nations

Consumer interest in international flavours was strong prior to the pandemic. After long periods of lockdowns, consumers are in need of treats to break up the monotony of housebound lifestyles. 

Many consumers are keen to indulge their taste buds with a holiday even if they cannot travel. Drinks are also a relatively affordable treat – especially when bought in retail. Millennials, who will be a big market for drinks brands, are highly experimental and still keen to try new flavours. 

Here, we identify drinks from several countries playing in the European tournament so consumers can choose drinks from particular nations to sync with the matches being played. 

Source: Amazon

In a nod to the current World Cup Holders France, consumers can try Tanqueray Blackcurrant Royale (40% ABV), which is made with French blackcurrants balanced with classic London Dry Gin botanicals (UK). It is inspired by the French heritage, the travels of Charles Tanqueray and the mystery and decadence of France.

For those rooting for Russia, Gusi Flip Flop’s unfiltered, none-clarified and unpasteurised beer is a light, fun alternative to a traditional fruity cider. It is an apricot, sweet cherry and passion fruit smoothie sour ale from Russia.

Source: Mintel GNPD

Raise a glass to cheer on the Spanish team with this Lime and Peppermint Flavoured Hard Seltzer from Spain. This low-calorie fermented alcoholic beverage has been made using brown cane sugar.

Source: Mintel GNPD

Could Switzerland find their form? Sip along with a Peach Mango Sangria Flavoured Aperitif Beer (Switzerland). Launched in Switzerland, this peach mango sangria flavoured drink puts a fruity, light and bubbly spin on the traditional Spanish aperitif. 

Source: Mintel GNPD

Tap into the excitement of the Tokyo Olympics with Japanese-styled cocktails

The Tokyo Olympics were postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19. The Japanese government has stated that the event will go ahead with no live audience. Japanese flavours will be in demand in alcoholic drinks, as the event sheds a spotlight on food and drink from the host nation.

Source: Twitter/DanTheScribbler

Spirits brands should tap into the excitement of the Olympics by promoting classic cocktails with a Japanese spin. For example, Western spirits could promote classic cocktails with a Japanese twist, such as the sake-tini (a vodka martini with traditional Japanese alcohol sake).

Ginza Spritz (Australia) is a yuzu-infused sake mixed with Tanqueray Gin, muddled lemon and shiso, with a spritz of ramunade served over ice in a double old fashioned.

Source: Kobe Jones Blog

Matcha Old Fashioned (US). This “Matcha Old Fashioned” drink, served in a Japanese restaurant in the US, is made with bourbon, demerara sugar, matcha, orange bitters and an orange zest garnish.

Source: Instagram, EBESU Robata & Sushi, @ebesurobata

Offer exotic flavours for alcohol moderators

The alcohol moderation trend has accelerated since the start of COVID-19, as consumers started paying more attention to their health. In the past three years, Europe has accounted for the majority of total low/no alcohol global launches, with the UK and Poland being the leading innovators. 

Lech’s Pineapple and Guava Flavoured Alcohol-Free Beer (Poland). This healthier treat from Poland is a combination of non-alcoholic lager beer with the exotic flavours of pineapple and guava.

Source: Mintel GNPD