< Journal
15th February 2022

The new, sober normal. We’ll drink to that!

The new, sober normal. We’ll drink to that!

More and more brands are diversifying their product range to include an alcohol free offering. With social media accounts such as @sobergirlsociety and @sobernation having hundreds of thousands of followers, and books like ‘Sober curious’ being written to help consumers reevaluate their relationship with alcohol**, highlighting that brands in this space need to empower their consumers with alcohol free options to stay relevant.

Category dominators such as Heineken and Corona, are certainly focussed on staying relevant during Dry Jan by promoting their non-alcoholic beers. Heineken worked on a clever social campaign to reinforce the idea that ‘a month of no alcohol doesn’t have to be dry…’, while plugging it’s alcohol free beer and opportunity to win a trip to the island of Kaua’i (apparently the wettest place on earth!).

Alcohol drinking adults continue to demonstrate putting their health first. Nearly 1 in 5 adults participated in Dry January this year (19% of all adults), which is up 6% from last year. Millennials made up 27% of participants, which is up 11% from last year* suggesting younger consumers are more health conscious.

Health & Wellness brands, like Surely and Ghia were at the forefront of this market trend and emerged with an alcohol free wine / aperitif offering, created to cut carbs & sugar intake, and avoid ‘the look’ you get when you’re stood without a drink in hand at your chosen social occasion. Not only do these options appeal to the younger generation, but to those looking to make healthier drinking decisions without the stigma of “not drinking”.

This doesn’t mean to say that these consumers will never want to drink again. 70% of Surely consumers identify as drinkers* but the important takeaway is to understand that your consumers want the choice and freedom to have their favorite drink, from their favorite brand, without being forced into consuming alcohol.

Adults who participated in Dry January planned to purchase the following non-alcohol options to see them through the month:

  • Non-alcoholic beer (33%)*

  • Non-alcohol wine (30%)*

  • Non-alcohol cocktails (27%)*

We want to help ensure your brand is at the forefront of the consumer’s mind – not just as their ‘go to’ alcohol brand of choice, but to also ensure they stay loyal and choose you for the occasions when they want an alcohol free beverage too.

Think about it…

  1. Are you talking to your consumers regularly to understand your target audience’s drinking habits?
  2. Do you know what occasions your consumers prefer to drink vs not drink?
  3. Have you brought out an alcohol free product to stay relevant in the market?

As an insights obsessed agency, we can help you conduct qualitative and quantitative research that will help make sure you understand your audience first, allowing your brands marketing strategy to be geared towards and resonate with your consumer’s demands in 2022.

Author: Nicole Levings

*Morning Consult

**Morning Brew