EPISODE #33 The Alcohol Industry and Cannabis with Spiros Malandrakis, Head of Research (Alcoholic Drinks) at Euromonitor International


This week, we welcome Spiros Malandrakis to the show, Alcohol industry analyst and researcher at Euromonitor International. Spiros has been providing prescient and pioneering insights on the evolution, branding and innovation within the global alcoholic drinks industry for the past decade and has recently broadened his scope by looking into the emerging cannabis drinks market. 

In this episode, we delve into the cannabis drinks market, evaluating current drinking trends amongst Gen Z, and discovering how the ‘green intersection’ will shape Fast Moving Consumer Goods of the future.

Episode Summary

  • Spiros describes the western alcohol market and the ascending ‘green wave’ of consumerism as ‘The green intersection’. He was one of the first alcohol analysts to associate the two, noting that the decline of one can create opportunities for the other.

  • Non alcoholic beverages are preferred by Gen Z who are one of the most health conscious generations.

  • The vast majority of people consume alcohol which they associate with their lifestyle and which says something about them when they hold it in their hands. 

  • The alcohol industry has seen the decline in drinking by youngsters who are also binge drinking less. Their main fears are that photographic imagery which associated them with drinking may come back to haunt them later on in life.

  • Spiros believes that intoxication has become a taboo, although it shouldn’t be something we are afraid of or ashamed of. 

  • In summary, alcohol consumption has been declining for a number of years, a trend which has coincided with the emergence of ‘green’ discourses and eco living.

  • Spiros disagrees with the viewpoint that dominates conferences in europe - that cannabis consumption will not become recreational and is heading in an exclusively medical direction. He believes that all FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) industries will adopt cannabis, disrupting the status quo and changing the landscape as we know it.

  • The FMCG market in Europe at the moment is largely dominated by CBD

  • Cannabinoids are not water soluble which makes combining them with drinks difficult.

  • Spiros predicts the commoditization of cannabis and cannabinoids within the next few years. They will become commodities and we will be able to produce them ourselves instead of them being grown on farms - devaluing the value of large scale grows.

  • Within FMCG industries, the emotional connection between a brand and its consumer is very important.

  • Spiros predicts that Cannabis 2.0 will hit Canada by the end of the year, this will see edibles and beverages sold online. He also predicts that we will stop categorising cannabis by its stains or types but will be more focused on the feelings and moods it can bring us.