Courtesy of Whole Foods

The grocery store chain has predicted its top beer and wine trends for this year. 

Elisabeth Sherman
March 08, 2018

Last year, everyone was drinking turmeric lattes and matcha. Drinks infused with herbal ingredients like these became so popular they even started popping up at the big chains like Starbucks. Alcoholic drinks are subject to the same type of annual influences. It’s a (still, just barely) new year, which means that a whole new wave of drink trends is about to descend upon us, the thirsty public. Will the craft beer boom continue? Will the health craze urge us to drink only cocktails infused with natural ingredients? Whole Foods has the answers. The chain recently released a new report, detailing all the beer and wine trends you’re about to see on store shelves and bar menus in 2018.

When it comes to beer, Whole Foods analysts think that we’ll be seeing more light beers with lower alcohol content and imports from Mexico. You’ve probably heard about bourbon aged in wine barrels, but 2018 will likely see an influx of wine aged in bourbon barrels. Whole Foods points to the growing popularity of wine labels like Cooper & Thief and Federalist.

La Croix really had its moment in 2017, and now alcoholic beverage companies are trying to capitalize on its popularity by developing more hard seltzers. This new version of a bubbly beverage might not replace champagne but it could be a new celebratory go-to, especially since it comes in the convenience of a can.

Carbonation seems to be key in 2018: Wine spritzers are always on the rise, many of which also come in cans. They make for easy, refreshing drinking, especially in the summer when people are hitting the beach and planning picnics—no cup required.

Whole Foods also predicts that more and more beverage brands will be leaning toward implementing alternative forms of packaging this year, including plastic wine glasses that won’t break and boxed wine, which is especially great for big gatherings and is portable so you can bring it anywhere, from a tailgate to a house party.

Whether you’re following these trends or not, rest assured that in 2018, people will still be drinking—a lot. Whether it’s brown liquor, boxed wine, out of a plastic cup or a can, alcohol is the trend that never dies.