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Beer is no longer cool, says Nielsen, but these drinks are

The year in drinking is shaping up to be fizzy and bright-colored.

Beer is no longer cool, says Nielsen, but these drinks are
[Photo: Billy Huynh/Unsplash]
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The good people at Nielsen measure more than TV viewership: They also know a lot about drinking! Here’s what they say you can expect to see in beer aisles and bars and restaurants this year.

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  • Less beer. Could it be that America is getting classier? Americans want to drink in healthier ways, says Nielsen. Look for nonalcoholic beers, as well as beers with less sugar, fewer calories, and lower alcohol content. Big beer companies are hurrying to diversify and will likely acquire liquor and wine companies this year.
  • So much hard seltzer. Hard seltzer options will double this year as the whole industry gets in the game: big brands, craft brewers, spirit companies. Expect to see more alcohol, healthy ingredients, and bold flavors.
  • Ready-to-drink cocktails. Why bother making a drink? Think convenient slim cans holding traditional cocktails with a flavor twist. Nope, America is not getting classier.
  • Hemp beer. Beer companies want in on the cannabis craze, and they’re using hemp to emulate the experience of cannabis.
  • Prosecco. It’s a rough year for table wine, particularly lower-priced bottles, but sparkling wines and rosé will be on the rise.

Coming to the internet near you: online alcohol ordering. The alcohol industry has lagged far behind other industries on e-commerce, mostly due to complex alcohol regulations, but now alcohol companies have figured out that, yes, people love online ordering, and, yes, people love booze—and that, yes, these two winning concepts should definitely be combined.

Check out Nielsen’s full predictions for beverage alcohol here.