When COVID lockdowns began, alcohol sales increased compared to usual sales, while food services and beverage sales decreased. As time passed, we saw alcohol consumption going down worldwide as many people stayed home and focused on their health. We started seeing a shift in people’s drinking habits as they stopped going to bars and restaurants.
As the social element of drinking disappeared, some people resorted to drinking more at home in the safety of their “bubble,” contributing to the significant drop in alcohol sales in bars and restaurants.
Through it all, there has been a movement towards less alcohol consumption. Some experts believe that the low- and no-alcohol drive will continue to grow. We may be seeing a new normal that includes less alcohol, and we’re seeing breweries and distributors offering more mocktails and non-alcoholic beverages.
Are Non-Alcoholic Beverages on the Rise?
According to the 2020 Cocktail Trends Report, low- to no-alcoholic beverages are the number one trend and have seen more Google searches than the previous year.
Bartenders and restaurants are increasingly offering tasty mocktails for those who want to enjoy the social aspect of community without imbibing too much alcohol. Many people are finding a new, leisurely approach to drinking.
Years ago, your options were more limited, and being sober amongst a group of drinkers was not very common. Since COVID, we are seeing numerous distilleries manufacture no-spirit batches, experiment with non-alcoholic wine, and develop new experimental drinks that mimic cocktails as consumers make more mindful decisions regarding their health.
All over the world, low to no alcohol consumption is projected to increase by 34%. Many bars adapt to this global shift by updating their menus to provide alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions.
While alcohol sales are still on the rise, non-alcoholic sales are starting to catch up.
A Trend Towards Alcohol-Free Alternatives
Traditionally, those who wanted to remain sober would meet at coffee shops or order a simple seltzer at a bar. These days, many major cities have opened up a space for non-alcoholic events and meeting spaces.
In the book “Quit Like a Woman” by Holly Whitaker, we explore the pervasiveness of alcohol culture and why it can be so challenging to step into sobriety. With the growing trends towards mocktails and non-alcoholic beverages, many consumers keep the culture just without the alcohol.
Pregnant, sober, or health-conscious consumers can seek out delicious and inspired drinks without having to stay at home or feeling like outsiders at an event.
As we progress into 2022, it seems apparent that the non-alcoholic movement is growing among bars and restaurants, which is an excellent area for establishments to explore and keep stocked.
If you need help with your beverage menu, Synergy is here. We’ve been working with restaurants, large and small, for over 33 years. Our beverage experts can help you develop low and no-alcohol menus to cater to this emerging and growing segment of consumers.