Building on anxiety

Even if you drink alcohol, there’s a time and place for a really good non-alcoholic drink. Being honest, I wasn’t in agreement with this statement when it was put to me. A generational thing? Maybe. Nonetheless, non-alcoholic drinks have proven me wrong, certainly in their longevity, maturing into a major player in the beverage sector.

Visit any major retail outlet and the ranges on offer – from bottled brands and celebrity-backed labels – are staggering.

Reasons for this include a shift in attitudes surrounding alcohol, as well as choice and curiosity.

One I hadn’t considered is the lingering effects of the anxiety economy where instability and disruption are having an impact on culture and emerging trends. Tied to the lockdown, wellness and health, behaviour driven by anxiety is creating new market opportunities as consumers seek to navigate the storm.

Listening to a podcast featuring Megan Klein, founder of the non-alcoholic mocktail company Little Saints, and David Brancaccio, the host of Marketplace Morning Report, you get an insight into why the anxiety trend is driving demand.

As generations drink less and less, there’s a shift in culture because they’re much more health conscious. Drinking alcohol is not sustainable, post-pandemic and in these inflationary times.

Where non-alcoholic drinks are growing in popularity is with their taste and the cleverness therein to give a total experience – from the smell to the relaxed feeling via an adaptogen-rich concoction of ingredients.

Price, as with most things, could be the dealbreaker for further momentum. Can the premium stand? If the quality remains. Certainly. There is considerable craft in making non-alcoholic drinks from the manufacturing process, the base, and flavourings to the marketing to build brand awareness. For now, high prices seem here to stay.

People have realised that great drinks are about the flavour that they carry, and the quality that they have. And they’re not just about the alcohol.


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