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Wellness Trends Drive Growth For Non-Alcohol Spirits, Wines, And Beers

December 1, 2022

While beverage alcohol momentum appears to have slowed somewhat in the off-premise this year, health and wellness concerns have driven low- and no-alcohol drinks to increased popularity—especially among Millennials and Gen Z consumers. The movement had originally centered around Dry January but has now also been gaining buzz in other parts of the year, such as Sober October. According to Nielsen, the growing “sober-curious” trend has been driven in large part by younger drinkers who have an increased focus on healthier lifestyles, playing an important role in the rise of de-alcoholized drinks.

Even with tough comps against the prior year, alcohol-free beverages’ momentum has not waned much this year, as total dollars for de-alcoholized spirits are still three times what they were just two years ago. Total beverage alcohol dollars—spirits, wine, beer, and other malt-based beverages—increased 3.6% in October 2022 versus October of 2021. But alcohol-free drinks increased by an aggregate 17.6% in the same timeframe, according to combined statistics from IRI and NielsenIQ, much faster than the growth of total traditional beverages (such as soda, tea, coffee, sports drinks, etc).

Diageo is the largest player in the de-alcoholized spirits space, led by Seedlip, in which it took a majority stake in 2019. Additionally, Diageo-backed Distill Ventures counts Ritual Zero Proof in its portfolio. Seedlip ($32 a 750-ml. bottle) is far and away the largest-seller among de-alcoholized spirits in the U.S. market, according to Impact Databank. Another player to watch is CleanCo, the non-alcoholic spirits brand from Jim Clerkin and Jeff Menashe’s Demeter & Co. On the wine side, Sutter Home’s Fre from Trinchero leads all non-alcoholic wines at over 300,000 9-liter cases in 2021. Meanwhile, Heineken 0.0 ($40 a 2.25-gallon case) is the market’s number-one de-alcoholized brew, rising 30% last year to 3.3 million cases in the U.S. alone

The non-alcoholic space has also attracted numerous celebrities. Earlier this year, singer Katy Perry launched De Soi, which is described as a non-alcoholic aperitif with natural adaptogens and botanicals. Last year, actress Blake Lively launched her own non-alcoholic drink line, Betty Buzz—her husband, actor Ryan Reynolds, is the face of Diageo’s Aviation gin—while supermodel Bella Hadid partnered in Kin Euphorics, which is touted as an “aperitif-style, mood boosting spirit.”

Only time will tell if Dry January, Sober October, and the larger wellness movement can sustain momentum in years to come, but the phenomenon is clearly being driven by younger consumers. As Breakthru Beverage vice chairman Danny Wirtz noted at this fall’s Impact Seminar, “Non-alcs are quickly picking up market share with the sober curious generation.”—Juan Banaag

Sober October—Off-Premise Trends by Type
(Millions of dollars)
Month of October Percent Change1
Category/Type 2019 2020 2021 2022 2021-2022
Total Beer2 $2,462.1 $2,714.5 $2,706.4 $2,827.1 4.5%
Non-Alcoholic Beer $10.28 $14.92 $18.15 $21.34 17.6%
Total Wine3 $1,233.6 $1,506.7 $1,448.4 $1,452.0 0.2%
Non-Alcoholic Wine $1.58 $2.14 $3.12 $3.53 13.1%
Total Spirits3 $1,188.7 $1,488.4 $1,499.1 $1,577.2 5.2%
Non-Alcoholic Spirits $0.02 $0.11 $0.25 $0.43 68.2%
1 Based on unrounded data
2 4 weeks ending 11/3/19, 11/1/20, 10/31/21 and 10/30/22 in IRI channels
3 4 weeks ending 11/2/19, 10/31/20, 11/6/21 and 11/5/22 in NielsenIQ channels
Sources: IRI, Nielsen IQ and IMPACT DATABANK © 2022
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