Adults Moderating Their Drinking Are Not Turning to No/Low Alcohol Options
The no- and low-booze market faces some growing pains
Younger adults are drinking less, or even not at all, as recent reports suggest. But another new study showcases a surprising trend: people who want to moderate their drinking aren’t really looking to low- or no-alcohol alternatives. Per drinks market analysts IWSR, 37% of legal drinking-age adults in the United States say they have not consumed alcohol in the past six months. Among consumers who do drink, more than 50% say they are moderating their alcohol consumption, but only 26% say they are drinking no-alcohol alternatives to their favorite full-strength drinks — unchanged from the figure recorded in September 2022.
“Moderation strategies remain the same, with over half of people in the U.S. cutting down on their alcohol consumption,” says Susie Goldspink, head of no- and low-alcohol insights, IWSR. “But, as was the case last year, this is not directly translating into purchases of no- and low-alcohol drinks.” The main reasons cited for this include not liking the taste of the alternative products, plus the lack of availability and the cost (n/a drinks can be costly, and sometimes with good reason).
Still, the same analysts forecast that even with a predicted decline in the total U.S. beverage alcohol market at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -1.5% between 2022 and 2027, no-alcohol volumes are expected to grow at a CAGR of more than +15% over the same time frame.
As for what drinkers are switching to, 35% of no/low consumers say they choose to moderate by not drinking on certain occasions, with 26% switching to lower-ABV options and 20% switching to non-alcoholic drinks when surveyed in Q3 2022. “Water is the most popular choice to reduce alcohol intake, with 60% of Gen Z consumers selecting this option,” Goldspink says. “Boomers are more likely to choose coffee, tea or another hot drink, while Millennials are more likely to combine full-strength wine or beer with a soft drink on the same occasion.”
If people are moderating their booze intake, we do have some non-alc options that are quite tasty.
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