Brown Forman marries consumer trends: nutrition, meet alcohol!
Modern consumers are more health conscious than their ancestors were – possibly as a reaction to expanding waistlines in the developed world, or the proliferation of sedentary jobs and lifestyles. But, they still like a drink. Navigating this apparent juxtaposition – because alcohol’s effects on the body are well understood, and not what many would consider ‘healthy’ – is a major challenge for modern brands. But Brown Forman thinks it’s got it fixed: just be honest.
The company has launched a new microsite providing nutritional information on all its popular consumer brands, including Jack Daniels (and its many premium iterations), Finlandia, Canadian Mist, and more.
Brown Forman’s corporate responsibility director Rob Frederick, said: “We believe the more information a consumer has, the better prepared they can be to make smart, responsible decisions about their alcohol consumption.”
Despite trends towards health and fitness, and despite rising alcohol prices in many regions, consumption of alcoholic drinks has been rising steadily in the west. In the U.S., for example, a study in 2010 demonstrated that the country had hit a new 25-year high when it came to alcohol consumption. The numbers continued to rise, and in 2015, heavy drinking had gone up 17% since 2005. While English drinking has remained more or less flat over the last few years, Scotland is in a similar situation to the U.S. And Europe contains all of the world’s biggest drinking countries, many of which have also seen consumption rise!
You could be forgiven for thinking that the people upping their alcohol intake are a different group from those who are hitting the gym every morning and having kale for lunch. But you would be wrong. Millennials, for example, are at the heart of the healthy eating trend, with 53% eating more healthily in 2016 than they did in 2015, according to a PwC report. In contrast, only 36% of Gen-X and 19% of Baby Boomers were eating more healthily than they had the previous year. Yet Millennials are also the big drinkers.
Millennials out-drink other generations
What all this demonstrates is that Brown Forman’s most lucrative market is probably the same market that is focused on working out and counting calories. By trusting the data and embracing a difficult reality, the company may just be able to court this market before the competition does.
Dominion holds Brown Forman in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.
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