Born from drivers, Tinder daters, life-hackers, and teetotallers who still want a decent drink whilst they’re out. The Low & No (NOLO) market is booming.
Health and wellness trends have resulted in young people drinking less than ever. The desire to stay on-the-ball and live life as fast and as efficiently as possible is on the rise. Resulting in 48% of 18-24-year-olds claiming they plan on reducing their alcohol consumption over the next 12 months.
The proliferation of online-dating is also having an effect on the amount we’re drinking. Apparently, people want to stay level headed on their Tinder dates.
But these consumers are not looking for a compromise with NOLO drinks - they’re looking for an equivalent.
Brands are responding with non-alcoholic and low-alcohol spirits, beers, tonics, waters and wines.
Here are three ways we’re drinking less but better:
Soft drinks with functional benefits
We've been helping our client Botanic Lab change the social-drinking landscape in the UK by rewriting the rulebook on stereotypical ‘health drinks’ - which according to founder Rebekah Hall have been misleading people for too long.
Botanic Labs’ raw and racy drinks are functional by nature and made from rare and ancient botanical ingredients, such as Ashwagandha, Siberian Ginseng and Yerba Mate.
Drinks like Botanic Lab, Press and Plenish are popular in the gym and lifestyle spaces, but increasingly so in bars and clubs for people who still want a drink that ‘does something’ when they’re out. To meet this demand, Botanic Lab launched the UK’s first CBD soft drink: Dutch Courage.
Our newly launched rebrand for Botanic Lab is satisfying a growing audience who live fast and seek a controlled, healthy balance for pleasure and wellness.
Non-alcoholic spirits is a category of two halves.
One half, driven by millennial favourite Seedlip, is about drinks that taste like gin, vodka and rum but without the alcohol.
On the other (and more interesting) side, are the social elixirs that give you the experience and sensation of alcohol through nourishing nootropics, adaptogens and botanics. These drinks have been called everything from social tonics to euphorics.
One example is Kin Euphorics, who believe in a night where ‘social isn’t sinful and self-care doesn’t stop at sunset’. Their ‘social tonics’ include a range of ingredients, including nootropics, to help open the mind, calm the body and connect the spirit.
Similarly, Three Spirit, a plant-based ‘social elixir’ is designed for a happier, healthier, more connected night out.
Drinks behind the bar are changing more than ever before and non-alcoholic brands, big and small are jostling to work out where they sit.
Low ABV Beers
Health stints like Dry January have had their most popular year on record, with 4.2 million people trying to give up alcohol for 31 days.
And big brewers are catching on. Last year global brewer AB InBev predicted that 20% of the world’s beer production volume will be non-alcoholic or low-alcoholic by 2025 (it’s currently at 2%).
There’s an exciting new category emerging, breaking down the stereotypes that non-alcoholic beers are dull and lacking in taste and variety (which they used to be).
Big brands like Heineken, Budweiser and Peroni are adding new lines every week, but smaller brewers like BrewDog and Camden are creating their own too. Camden’s most recent release is their ‘Week Nite’ beer: a lower ABV for ‘those who prefer dancing in the kitchen to an all-night rave’.
Brewers, Nirvana, lay claim to being the only brewery in the UK dedicated solely to the production of low and alcohol-free beers. Their ‘FitBeer’ is aimed at the health and fitness market: the 0.3% Bavarian Helles lager carries just 66 calories along with a host of added health benefits such as vitamin B12 and folic acid.
Healthy hedonism is definitely on the rise as consumers seek new ways to have a good alcohol-free time without avoiding beer altogether.
SEEN has been compiled this month by our Guest-Editor and LOVE Junior Strategist Alex Theaker. Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge his cultural knowledge? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.