The soaring popularity of non-alcoholic drinks continues to revolutionize the brewery world as industry titans, esteemed bars, and well-respected bartenders board the booze-free train. Various formulations of the newcomers include terms such as mocktails, faux spirits, alt-gin, and zero-proof drinks and beverages. Yet while the cocktails might be ‘mock,’ they are bringing in real bucks – and big bucks to boot.
The non-alcoholic (NA) beer industry, in particular, has proliferated with sales expected to surpass $25 billion by 2024, according to research firm Global Market Insights. The year 2019 also witnessed the astronomical rise to success of the first non-alcoholic gin and whisky products from company Ritual Zero Proof. Its six-month startup inventory sold out in a mere six weeks, necessitating a 400% increase in production to meet demand. The company’s success has since garnered the attention of Diaego, the industry giant whose brands include Smirnoff, Crown Royal, Johnnie Walker, and Don Julio. It now has a small ownership stake and major cash investment in the company, enabling Ritual to expand significantly.
And it’s not just non-alcoholic drinks which are experiencing an upheaval: sober bars, an oxymoron within itself, are popping up nationwide, along with the newly-coined term “sober curious population.” This refers to the growing population who are decreasing or altogether ceasing their alcohol intake and questioning everything about their relationship with alcohol and the societal pressures that have always caused them to consume alcohol.
The bottom line? If you own a bar, or if your restaurant or catering service provides alcohol, your business can no longer afford not to sell mock drinks and zero-proof beverages.