Alcohol free drinks are on the rise. More and more people are switching to alcohol free alternatives to beer, wine or other alcoholic drinks. Bacardi - one of the biggest global producers of spirits - even predicts a growth of 400% in the no- and low-alcohol categories by 2024. Moreover, according to the brand, the categories will grow from 100 to 500 million*. Why do more and more people take this step?
There are different factors that have put this shift in motion. The trend towards no- and low-alcohol fits within a bigger shift towards wellness and a focus on health. Drinking less alcohol is simply healthier, so those who value a healthy lifestyle will automatically think about this as well. The way in which people socialise is influenced by this as well. It's no longer unsociable not to drink at the bar, non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails are therefore increasingly being sold in bars. Consumers all over the globe appear to prefer less alcohol in their drinks*.
The pandemic is also in it for something. The countless lockdowns have ensured that we all started thinking more about what's really important to us. This amplified the shift towards less alcohol consumption and created more attention to functional ingredients as well, which creates more attention to "functional elixirs"*. Immune system strenghtening ingrediënts have come to the fore. Long story short, we all find health increasingly important.
The many benefits of cutting down on alcohol
That non-alcoholic drinks win out over alcoholic drinks in terms of self-care sounds evident. Nevertheless, what are the advantages of cutting down on alcohol?
First of all, your body just functions better. This is reflected in a stronger condition, a better memory and a more energetic feeling.
Secondly, cutting down on alcohol also improves the quality of your sleep. Although you may fall asleep faster after a few glasses of wine, the sleep itself is restless and not as deep. Just think, do you wake up fresher when you've consumed alcohol or when you haven't?
By avoiding alcohol, you also reduce your calorie intake. One glass of alcohol usually contains between 80 and 100 calories. This can also be a reason for many people to switch to no- or low-alcohol.
What you may not know is that alcohol is also bad for your skin. Drinking alcohol is dehydrating. Drinking less can therefore ensure that your skin stays hydrated, which automatically makes you look fresher.
How can you choose between the alternatives?
That alcohol-free beverages are on the rise is clear. That they bring many advantages is clear as well. But how do you choose between the endless non-alcoholic options? There is no industry in which innovation is as strong as in the world of non-alcoholic beverages. There have never been so many choices.
It turns out that consumers make their choice on the basis of various factors. Good taste is of course the most important. But the story behind the product, its functionality, the image of the brand and the packaging also appear to play a major role. This is not illogical when you consider that drinking alcohol is usually a social affair. People want a proper alternative. When you can order a drink with a full and complex flavour, which also has a good story behind it, the experience is no longer inferior to drinking an alcoholic beverage.
Many consumers are turning to kombucha as an alternative. This is because of its refined taste, varied flavours, and the many health benefits it brings. Kombucha offers drinkers more flavour complexity than the average non-alcoholic alternative. It is also extremely versatile and is increasingly used as an alternative to traditional mixers and cocktail bases.
Also, switching from alcohol to kombucha can boost your vitamin intake. Kombucha contains vitamins B1, B6 and B12, and these boost your immune system, regulate your mood and help with red blood cell production.
There even appear to be some beneficial similarities between kombucha and alcoholic beverages. Red wine, for example, is full of polyphenols. These are created by the fermentation and maturation of the wine, and carry many health benefits. They are associated with a lower risk of heart disease and chronic illnesses. They also reduce inflammation and LDL cholesterol. Polyphenols are also thought to have anti-carcinogenic and blood-pressure lowering effects*.
When you drink kombucha, you get all these polyphenol benefits without the negative effects of alcohol. This is because kombucha is derived from tea, which naturally contains high levels of polyphenols, and the fermentation process of the kombucha allows these polyphenols to flourish! Polyphenols are not the only antioxidants found in kombucha either. Kombucha derived from green and black tea, like Yugen, also contains catechins that help maintain blood pressure. So when you switch from alcoholic beverages to kombucha, you don't have to give up the positive effects of antioxidants.
Let us summarise what people consider important when looking for alternatives to alcohol. A complex flavour, a story behind the product, functionality, a good brand image and attractive packaging. At Yugen we strive to check off all those boxes.
Now to get you started: Click here for a delicious mocktail recipe!