What IP intelligence reveals about transformation, trends and opportunities in the alcoholic beverage industry [Report]

Clarivate releases a new report on the alcoholic beverage industry, integrating insights across patent, domain, trademark and case law data to understand how this sector continues to be a beacon of innovation.

The holiday season this year promises to be like few before. No Christmas markets, no jostling with fellow shoppers, perhaps no gathering together with friends or family – but despite these changes (or maybe because of them), many will still indulge in a tipple or two.

The alcoholic beverage industry, like many other industries, has adapted to the continuing economic uncertainty caused by the global pandemic. In our latest report, Distilling the IP dynamics of the alcoholic beverage industry, Clarivate analysts use integrated IP insights to explore the transformation, trends and opportunities in the multi-billion dollar global alcoholic beverage industry.


The power of branding

Perhaps more so than in any other sector, players in the alcoholic beverage industry understand the power of branding. As consummate marketers, they navigate regulations that aim to ensure responsible marketing of alcohol and vary from country to country, while delivering memorable campaigns such as Aviation Gin’s parody of Peloton’s holiday ad.

It’s hardly surprising then that alcoholic beverage companies have gone to considerable lengths to protect their brands. Our trademark intelligence from CompuMark™ revealed that trademark applications in Nice class 32 and 33 – covering beers, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages – have risen significantly since 2017. This could possibly lead to brand disputes rising in the future.


Changing consumption patterns and consumer trends

Changing consumption patterns and consumer behavior are also transforming the industry. Health conscious millennials and Gen Z drinkers are turning to lower alcohol drinks; discerning drinkers are increasingly turning to craft drinks, whether craft beer or gin. Through our Derwent™ patent intelligence, we see beer patent activity  rising, with Mainland China the leading innovator, well ahead of second place South Korea and the United States, who surpassed Germany to claim third place.

Another trend that continues to influence development within the alcoholic beverage industry is premiumization. With greater purchasing power and a growing middle class in markets such as Mainland China, the desire for authenticity and status has accelerated demand for protection of premium products through Geographical Indications (GIs). In fact, using our Darts-ip™ case data and analytics solution, we uncover interesting insights on the most ubiquitous GIs in alcoholic beverage IP cases – exploring not only which GIs have the widest protection, but also the protection strategies of the largest alcoholic names with protected geographic status.


The digital potential

Perhaps the most surprising insight is what our MarkMonitorTM domain data reveal about alcoholic beverage companies’ online strategies. Our MarkMonitor domain intelligence explains how alcoholic beverage brands could take advantage of new top level domains such as .BEER and .VODKA to drive traffic to their websites and engage with consumers. For a fast-moving industry, the level of internet innovation or new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) adoption is low compared to another dynamic sector, the gaming industry. Will we see more alcoholic beverage companies apply for their .BRAND domain when the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) next round of TLD applications come around?


Intelligence from integrated IP

By analyzing IP activity using a blend of case, domain, patent and trademark data, we can also see a geographic shift in the industry. Mainland China is emerging as a prominent player, dominating innovation across the alcoholic beverage IP lifecycle.

Insights from integrated IP offer strategists, marketers, research and development teams and more the opportunity to better understand the market landscape, where potential opportunities or pitfalls lie, and the likely trajectory of some trends.

Want to know what else IP intelligence tells us about the alcoholic beverage industry? Read Distilling the IP dynamics of the alcoholic beverage industry to learn more.

Interested in more research from our IP experts? See our recent analysis of the future of cloud gaming or learn how the pandemic is affecting corporate innovation strategies.