As healthy living continues to trend, the movement has turned from healthy food choices to those of beverages as well. Consumers are looking to consume less alcohol, but still want to be able to enjoy the social aspect that drinking allows for.
While mocktails and low-ABV style beverages have been around for years, there is now an increased emphasis on the creation of these drinks, driven by the craft cocktail movement. Consumers will be looking for high-quality beverages that don’t sacrifice on taste. And, consumers are not only ordering them out, but are also making them at home.
According to FONA International, a company dedicated to creating and producing flavors for many of the largest food, beverage, and nutritional companies in the world, this movement will continue to gain popularity through 2020.
In a new insights report, the company noted that there has been behavioral shift for consumers, especially Millennials, towards drinking less alcohol or eliminating it all together, and it is becoming an everyday lifestyle choice. The study noted that with an increased focus on decreasing the amount of sugar one is taking in, alcohol consumption is often the first thing to get eliminated. This is happening, said the study, and is also being aided by those consumers that are not only watching their waistline, but are watching their budget as well.
This trend has allowed beer, wine and spirits companies to roll out new products poised to fill the void. And, if companies have not yet created products for this niche, they soon will be. According to the study, low and no alcohol products currently account for only 0.5% of the total U.S. beverage alcohol market, but they are growing rapidly. Ready-to-drink products in the category are forecasted to grow 39% per year through 2022.
Major companies are creating beverages that suit this segment. For example, Brooklyn Brewery launched Special Effects, its first non-alcoholic brew, in fall 2019. Wölffer Estate wine brought a non-alcoholic petite rosé verjus wine to the market right before peak summer season, allowing sober consumers to take part in the continued rosé sipping trend. Seedlip, too, has been hitting the market. Independents have brought the distilled non-alcoholic spirits into their stores. The blend of spices and flavors have given them a talking point with customers as well as encourages them to create unique and flavorful mocktails with confidence.
Additionally, social media has helped propel this movement forward. With things like Dry January, Sober October and the hashtag #SoberCurious continuing to trend amongst consumers, FONA International said alcohol-free alternatives are leading the way with great momentum in new product introductions, while mocktails and low-alcohol offerings are more common on bar and restaurant menus.