From VR goggles to gummy bear edibles, wine and spirits brands are creating entire immersive experiences around their alcohol products to fight declining consumption
According to research, alcohol consumption in the U.S. dropped for a second consecutive year in 2017, with overall volumes dragged down by declining beer sales, despite wine and spirits achieving gains. To fight this decline, brands within the spirits industry are evolving their unique formulas, interactive packaging designs, and immersive engagement strategies in order to deeply connect and stay relevant in the minds of consumers.
Any connoisseur knows that ambiance is half the experience when it comes to wine, which is why brands are focusing on ways to immerse their consumers and bring the acting of imbibing to life in wholly unexpected ways. Here’s how four brands, shops and bars are creating multi-sensory experiences that engage taste, scent, sound and visuals.
Tippling Club, a bar and restaurant in Singapore, created an edible cocktail menu called Dreams and Desires. Each customer is presented with a bag of 12 gummy bears, with each little sweet corresponding to a different drink on the list. Even the paper menu itself is aromatized with the scent of an Old English sweet shop. Once customers find a flavor they are interested in, it’ll guide their order to a corresponding cocktail.
London-based One Aldwych hotel serves cocktails with VR goggles to give guests an enhanced experience with a short video that details the process by which the scotch brand gets its custom casks. As soon as a patron orders the cocktail, the server presses an acorn into the palm of her hand, then disappears to gather the rest of the accouterments needed for the drink experience. Next, a server comes to the table with a cart loaded with VR goggles and a shallow box carpeted in moss that holds a bowl of dry ice and vintage glassware filled with Oloroso sherry and Macallan Rare Cask. After sipping the liquors, the customer straps on the goggles for a four-minute video that travels from forest floors to vineyards, sherry bodegas and even the shores of Scotland.
Baptiste & Bottle, located in the Conrad Chicago, and The Macallan have joined forces to create a unique and immersive VR cocktail experience. The experience takes guests through each step of the experience tableside and encourages them to ask questions and learn more about scotch, sherry and The Macallan story.
Moët Hennessy created an Alexa Skill that teaches consumers about champagne to encourage them to become connoisseurs.
Combining creative thinking with the latest technologies has allowed wine and spirits brands to fight declining alcohol consumption and offer engaging experiences to customers. For more information on innovation in the beverage industry, see PSFK’s report Remixing The New Cocktail Experience.