A generation is demanding more honey in its alcohol
Almost overnight, the whiskey category changed. What once was dominated by mainstream brands and traditional products is now welcoming flavored varieties. The main flavor: honey.
In the distilled spirit category, honey has made a significant impact in the last couple of years as flavored products, ranging from whiskey to vodka, gain market share from their non-flavored counterparts.
Beyond just flavor, honey offers marketing benefits as well. When distilled spirits processors use honey, the ingredient’s inclusion becomes key to the product’s marketing strategy. When honey is used in liquors, “honey” is in the name of the product and honey or bee imagery usually appears prominently on labels, packaging and store displays.
Millennials are the main driving force behind the growth of the distilled spirit category. They are seeking adventure and authenticity from their spirits, and they are finding it in products made with honey.
Why use honey in spirits
Honey is more than sweet. Consumer cravings for a sweet flavor note in distilled spirits is well documented. However, honey also adds a depth of flavor to any distilled spirit through its combination of simple and complex carbohydrates, minerals and other properties.
Honey looks perfect on the label. In an ever-crowded spirit category, honey is the perfect marketing tool to make a bottle stand out. From a bee to honeycomb to a honey dipper, honey’s iconography is the perfect imagery to win over consumers.
Honey brings the flavor. As the spirit category pushes the boundaries of flavor, honey represents an innovative yet timeless flavor to incorporate into distilled spirits.
Honey spirits on the market
Comb 9 Gin, StilltheOne Distillery Two
A gin with a floral nose made with orange blossom honey for a smooth finish.
Apple Brandy, Sonoma Cider
Cinnamon baked apples, vanilla and honey give this brandy sweet and spicy flavor notes.
Rumbles, Balcones Distilling
Fermented with Texas wildflower honey and mission figs.