Industry Trends

Breakthru Experts Predict 2020’s Beverage Industry Trends

2020 trend predictions

Jan. 2, 2020

As we enter a new decade, we can expect a steady flow of exciting innovations and emerging trends bound to shape the future of the alcohol industry. As is tradition, we checked in with our own experts to collect all the prognostications for the coming year.

Read through all 17 trends or jump to a topic below:

Sustainability (2)

Mindful Packaging

I foresee more brands focusing on sustainable packaging that encourage consumers to decrease their carbon footprint.

Jessica Simpson
Trade Development Manager
Breakthru Maryland/D.C.

Mindful Ingredients

I think we’ll start to see a growing number of establishments using acid-adjusted ingredients, like powders, in their cocktails. The benefit of adjusting the acidity of various ingredients is that fewer ingredients will go to waste. Not only is it smart financially, it also demonstrates a strong commitment to sustainability.

Natalia Cardenas
Beverage Development Manager
Breakthru Illinois

Health-Conscious Drinking (4)

Better for You

The “Better for You” segment will continue to become more saturated as additional craft breweries look to capitalize on the younger generation’s mindfulness and health-conscious lifestyles. As craft breweries look to make more flavorful and interesting options of these lower calorie, lower ABV and lower carb beers you will see them expand out to different styles and look for adjuncts like fruited IPA’s in low calorie formats to emerge.

Ryan Mac Isaac
Director of Beer Trade Development
Breakthru Colorado


Seltzers are the fastest-growing segment within the beer category, and it’s a category that barely existed three years ago. I believe there’s still plenty of room to grow because hard seltzers are still underrepresented in major sales channels like convenience stores, bars and restaurants.

Morgan Zamora
Beer Manager
Breakthru Colorado

More Seltzers

There is no slowing down for the hard water seltzer category. 2020 will capture new consumers and bring innovation to this category with unique and bolder flavors among new entries from the category leaders and newcomers including craft breweries seeking a piece of the hard seltzer pie.

Ryan Ferebee
Beverage Specialist, Certified Cicerone ®, Certified Cider Professional
Breakthru Minnesota

And Finally, More Seltzers

While 2019 was the year of hard seltzers, 2020 will see more bar programs developing and incorporating craft cocktail iterations of this drink, such as elevated vodka-sodas that are highly carbonated, low calorie, low alcohol with light flavors.

Mike Henderson
Beverage Development Manager
Breakthru Colorado

Innovations (5)

Mix It Up

There’s an opportunity for on-premise businesses to explore alternatives for dairy mixes. Historically, a non-dairy customer might seek out soy or almond milk to replace a dairy ingredient, but I’d recommend oat milk. It holds up better in drinks because it doesn’t break down as easily as other non-dairy alternatives.

Jennifer Paré
Director, Craft and Emerging Spirits
Breakthru AZ/CO/NV

Alternative Packaging and Low-Alcohol Wine

We’ll continue to see more cans and alternative packages for wine, with a distinct appeal to the growing health-conscious consumer with lower-alcohol wine options.

Christopher Rowell
Wine Educator
Breakthru Illinois

Peanut Butter

It’s the flavor that really came alive in 2019, and I think 2020 will introduce many new peanut butter extensions into the market.

Cory D. Frederiksen
Business Manager
Breakthru Colorado


Coffee has us all buzzing right now! Cold brew is making heads turn in so many new ways — even in everyone’s favorite brown spirits.

Jill Sites
Director, Craft and Emerging Spirts
Breakthru DE/DC/MD/PA

Instagrammable Cocktails

Pantone’s Color of the Year in 2020 is classic blue, and I think we’ll start seeing some more big and bold colors in cocktails. Think 1980s bright blue that will look spectacular in a drink and perfect for a picture.


Category Growth (6)

Terroir in Whiskey

Recently, we have started to see a rise in grain-to-glass whiskeys being released by a variety of independent/craft distilleries across the U.S. I think that trend will continue to grow, with many of these distilleries releasing whiskey expressions that showcase the true essence of the terroir, while also being aged just as long—if not longer—than some of the more mainstream brands in the category.

John Oliver
National Trade Marketing Director, Emerging/Craft Brands, Trident Division
Breakthru Beverage Group

Raising Spirits: Gin and Tequila

Gin and tequila will reach new heights in 2020. Gin growth continues to accelerate and has less seasonality than other spirits. Tequila continues to grow as well and there is no looking back. It will soon be about a third of the size of the massive vodka category and its value is quite high, which means more profit for businesses that diversify their tequila portfolio.

Darin Harris
VP – Strategy & Capability
Breakthru Arizona

Canned Wine Continues to Grow

2019 saw a tremendous number of entries into the canned wine category, offering many can sizes, varietal types, brands, and pack sizes. While the consumer is still determining what the predominant size will be, we do know that canned wine will soon be around 10 percent of the total wine category in three to five years, and as those consumers become more comfortable drinking beverages from cans, it’s only a matter of time before canned wine becomes mainstream.

Paul Puhalla
VP of Marketing
Connecticut Distributors, Inc.

The What and Where of Wine

Sauvignon Blanc will continue to grow, as well as lesser known regions like Chile’s Casablanca and San Antonio Valleys. Chile and Argentina will garner attention for impressive super-luxury Bordeaux-style blends, and Italy will continue to show the world that their new generation of whites are indeed wines of distinction.


Hazy IPAs

As IPAs take the lead by far among craft styles, hazy IPAs will continue to grow as they’ve found to be the favorite among IPA drinkers.


Rise of the American Single Malt

American single malts have been quietly gaining steam over the last several years with small independent producers looking to carve out some space in the already crowded domestic whiskey category. Now, what was once a super small, niche product within the category is prime to become an even more significant player in 2020.