It started off as a movement called Dry January - an opportunity to stop drinking for the month of January each year in response to the apparent excesses of alcohol consumption in December.
The no / low alcohol movement is however growing at an astounding rate, and not just growing volume wise - we're also starting to see some very compelling product and brand development in the space.
The brand and its products are pitched to people that are not against drinking, but sometimes just want to take a bit of a break from it.
According to a piece published by Axios - 'a startup called Boisson has just opened five stores in upscale New York City neighborhoods that only sell high-end spirits, wines and beers without alcohol.'
Looking at the numbers, Nielsen research suggests that in the US:
- Low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages sold $3.1 billion off premise in the latest 52 weeks (+10.4%)
- Non-alcoholic sales: $331 million (+33.2%)
- Low-alcoholic sales: $2.77 billion (+8.1%)
- There was a 315% increase in online non-alcoholic + low-alcoholic beverage dollar sales in the latest 12 months vs. a 26% increase in alcoholic beer, wine and spirits e-commerce sales
Sober bars, innovations in mocktails and the societal non-judgement of people who are choosing to not have alcohol (either temporarily or permanently) are probably going to increase in the future.
The rising global popularity of Dry January and these no / low alcohol products points perhaps to something deeper than just easing off of the booze for a month. It brings into focus a growing awareness and questioning of our relationship with alcohol and other recreational drugs.
Going out, having friends over, lighting a fire from a cultural perspective has perhaps become something of an assumed automatic signal to accompany that experience with a glass or more of alcohol.
But excessive (or even fairly moderate) alcohol consumption does carry with it some pretty serious negative health effects - and since we have now all gone through an extremely challenging global health crisis - it has compelled us to reevaluate many aspects of our lives and the behaviours which we do not normally question. and rethink how that may be affecting our bodies.
Consumers are realising that they have choices and those choices carry consequences for ourselves and others. You can change the world (and yourself) simply by making different choices.
Expect attention on other aspects of life that have. for as long as we can remember, just been taken for granted.
Previously: Sunshine Beer - Cherryflava