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If you went into a bar ten years ago and asked for a non-alcoholic drink, the chances are your options would be fruit juice, a soft drink or water.

Now there are a wide range of no and low-alcoholic drinks available, from mocktails to alcohol-free spirits.

Join us as we take a look at how the market has changed and why non-alcoholic drinks are now so popular with customers.


How the pandemic changed our drinking habits


During the first lockdown in 2020, many people turned to drinking when the bars were closed, and everyone was confined to their homes. One in five people admitted to consuming more alcohol than unsusual, with two out of five furloughed workers drinking more to pass the time.

After the pandemic, many people decided to improve their health by cutting down or eliminating alcohol from their lives. Six per cent of people stopped drinking entirely.

While people want to abstain from alcohol, they still want to go to the pub as well as socialise with friends. We checked stock levels last year during the Euros and found 15% of stores sold out of non-alcoholic beer before the England v Scotland game!


The rise of ‘generation sensible’


Younger people are more likely to be teetotal and avoid binge drinking than their older counterparts. 15% of Gen Zers say they drink alcohol once a week, compared to 28% of Millennials.

There seem to be two reasons why this is the case. Firstly, younger people are more health conscious and would rather go to the gym than open a bottle of wine. Secondly, as a generation that has grown up with social media, Gen Zers are less likely to drink in case their antics are shared on TikTok or YouTube.


People are becoming more daring


People are becoming increasingly adventurous when it comes to eating out and drinking. 30% of people say they now visit a wider range of venues than they did the year before.

This willingness to try new things applies to non-alcoholic beverages too. Botanical spirits, kombucha and premium soft drinks are all popular choices with adults that want to say no to beer or wine.


How your brand can take advantage of the alcohol-free drinks market


Low and no-alcohol drinks aren’t just a trend – they’re now a way of life. Sales of alcohol-free drinks reached $10 billion in 2021, a rise of 28% since 2018.

With non-alcoholic beer, spirits, and wine available, there are now several options for customers that want to enjoy a pleasant drink but stay sober. Many brands now offer no and low alcohol versions of their products to take advantage of brand familiarity.

The key to getting into this industry is to do your research. As the alcohol-free sector is becoming competitive, it’s important to find a gap in the marketplace to avoid over-saturation.

And remember, if you need a little extra support with your research, Shepper is here to help.

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