| Victoria Banaszak

Are consumers shifting towards alcohol-free alternatives?

When the pandemic first hit, many health experts seemed to worry about the same thing: Would alcohol consumption increase as people are forced to stay home and deal with anxiety or loneliness?

Little did we know that for many the opposite would be true!

Contrary to initial thoughts, many consumers took on a more health-conscious lifestyle, surrounding themselves with healthier foods - this meant less sugar, less alcohol and more organic foods in their diets.

For wine & spirit aficionados as well as the everyday person who may just enjoy a glass of wine every now and then, this meant that they were often left with one of two choices when it came to staying true to their newfound diets - either they had to resort to a glass of juice or water, or they had to make exceptions to sneak in limited amounts of alcohol into their diets.

Alcoholic beverage producers, including winemakers, have by now taken note of this and started to create alcohol-free alternatives to their flagship products. In 2021, non-alcoholic wine sales reached $1.6 billion, with this number expected to grow 10% each year.

The search for a healthy alternative may be the reason why health & environmentally conscious entrepreneurs such as Amanda Thomson, CEO & Founder of Thomson & Scott have chosen to launch their own alcohol-free wine brands.

Rather than settling for the benefits of being alcohol-free only, Amanda Thomson’s Noughty wine selection aims to make an all-around impact worldwide. For this reason, Thomson & Scott was rewarded with B Corporation status, a certification awarded to businesses balancing profits with people & planet.

“I think if people are conscious of what they are putting into their bodies and therefore selecting alcohol-free wine they are most likely also concerned with the environment and our impact on it,” Thomson said to Green Queen Magazine

This mindset has been transferred into Noughty wines and is why besides the ingredients being 100% organic and vegan, additional efforts were made to ensure “packaging is 100% compostable and recyclable”.

Gen Z and Millennials have shown a strong desire to impact the world around them, and as such great taste and a premium dining experience may no longer be the only integral to creating a quality wine picked up by consumers in today’s market. 

With more start-ups and small businesses prioritising environmental impact and alcohol-free living, the drinks & food industry is on track to go through a variety of changes, which consumers should keep their eyes open to.