LONDON: UK marketers launching new alcoholic drinks face major obstacles to success, with a new report showing that eight in ten out-of-home drinkers rarely or never try such products.

This trend, according to market researchers Canadean, is "concerning", given the significant level of investment ploughed into new product development by the drinks industry.

Figures extracted from a recently published global report, show that 32% stick resolutely to those brands they know and trust. And when asked when they didn't try new products, 21% said they didn't like the innovations on offer while 14% weren't aware of them.

The sheer volume of options is also a problem, according to Sam Allen, analyst at Canadean: "In the face of all so many new drinks [consumers] often stick to tried-and-tested favourites," he said.

But there are several trends that manufacturers and marketers can usefully exploit, as the research highlighted those areas that are of interest to adventurous drinkers.

Over half (56%) of those who regularly or often try new alcohol drinks out of the home experiment with new flavours.

Allen noted that the sort of fusion seen across the FMCG market was being replicated in the drinks sector, with craft options exploring the use of coffee, chocolate and spices, while major brands offered variations on classic products.

One third (33%) liked to sample locally made products. "Many consumers are becoming bored with traditional flavours, particularly in beer, which has resulted in the rapid growth of smaller scale brewing and craft production," said Allen.

Larger brands tapping into this, he added, would need to stress such things as the source of ingredients and the care that had gone into the production process.

A third trend the report observed was a growth in seasonal offerings, with one quarter (25%) of adventurous drinkers regularly choosing summer fruit varieties or winter spiced drinks.

"Limited edition and seasonal options that offer fresh and exciting tastes will encourage more consumers to try products while they have the chance," said Allen.

Data sourced from Canadean; additional content by Warc staff