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Nonalcoholic Options Increase With Demand

More and more people are celebrating good times by going without. 

Nonalcoholic beverage sales in the U.S. stood at $395 million as of August 2022, according to NielsenIQ, showing a year-on-year growth of more than 20%. Previously, alcohol was the highlight of social gatherings, but the tides are changing as nonalcoholic beverage trends are on the rise resulting from a growing wellness movement, inspiring people from various ages and stages of their lives to make healthy changes, including what they consume. Additionally, younger Gen Z consumers are less interested in alcohol consumption.  

Nonalcoholic beer leads the market with a worth of $328.6 million, taking up 85.3% of nonalcoholic beverage sales. As nonalcoholic drink sales increase, traditional alcohol drink sales decrease. However, according to research, 82% of nonalcoholic drink buyers still purchase alcoholic drinks. Nonalcoholic beer, wine and spirits account for only 0.47% of total alcohol sales in the United States., but the percentage share continues to grow steadily. Additionally, nonalcoholic beverage choices are increasing as companies tap into the potential of a growing market. 

“The nonalcoholic market has a passionate customer base that is very appreciative to have lots of options,” said Eric Briggeman, vice president of brewing operations at Michigan-based Two Roots Brewing Co.   

Briggeman said the ingredients in the nonalcoholic craft beer — water, malted barley or wheat, hops and yeast — are the four traditional ingredients in regular beer. The production of nonalcoholic beer at Two Roots entails producing fully fermented beer followed by removing alcohol with state-of-the-art equipment.  

“While this is an expensive process, we feel that this method produces nonalcoholic beer that tastes most like traditional beer. … Gone are the days of only having a couple of mass-produced options from the world’s largest breweries. The nonalcoholic beer scene reminds me of how the regular craft beer scene was back in the mid- to late ’90s — lots of options and lots of buzz, no pun intended,” said Briggeman. 

J.W. Wiseman is the CEO and co-founder of New York-based Curious Elixirs, which he founded in 2015. Curious Elixirs offers a fun way to be booze-free through cocktails featuring delicious, complex flavors that help support the body.   

“More and more people are waking up to the idea that life can be fun with less alcohol,” he said. “As a result, we’ve seen some of the best restaurants and bars in the world carry Curious or create nonalcoholic beverages to cater to booze-free drinkers.”