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  • Writer's pictureMeyrick Consulting

Dead Drunk Sober

In a time when kale smoothies and yoga are as all over the place as coffee and donuts, it's no surprise that everyone’s drink choices are evolving too. With everyone from ambitious startups to renowned breweries joining the low-alcohol trend, it's time to explore how these innovative beverages are making waves in the industry.

So, let's embark on a journey to discover how these drinks are shaking up the industry, one sober step at a time.

The rising tide...

The tides have turned in favor of low-alcohol beverages - and for a good reason! With health consciousness reaching new heights, people opt for healthier alternatives, even in their drinks.

According to the World Health Organization, alcohol consumption is responsible for 3 million deaths per year and a myriad of health issues annually. It's no wonder consumers are seeking lighter options that won't leave them feeling groggy or regretful the morning after.

What's more, the concept of "mindful drinking" has entered the mainstream, encouraging folks to savor their sips without losing their wits. The Sober Curiosity has made a splash, promoting a balanced approach to alcohol consumption - and it's clear that people are listening.

The world of social drinking has evolved, too, as people are beginning to recognize that you don't need a high alcohol content to have a good time. Psychology states that social drinking is all about bonding experiences, and with the emergence of non-alcoholic bars, it's clear that the days of needing a stiff drink to unwind are behind us.


Well, if you consider all of the cash being pumped into this space you would have thought we're reliving the prohibition.

Startups shaking it up...

These ambitious startups are not only making a splash in the low-alcohol market, but they are also leading the charge with their innovative and appealing products.

Let's check out these revolutionary startups.

Founded by Ben Branson in 2014, Seedlip made history as the world's first distilled non-alcoholic spirits brand. They offer three distinct spirits - Seedlip Spice 94, Seedlip Garden 108, and Seedlip Grove 42 - each with its unique blend of botanicals, creating complex and sophisticated flavors. Their products have been embraced by high-end bars and restaurants worldwide, proving that you don't need alcohol to enjoy a refined and elegant night out.

Co-founded by Bill Shufelt and John Walker in 2017, Athletic Brewing is dedicated to creating craft non-alcoholic beers that maintain the taste and quality of traditional brews. Their offerings include Run Wild IPA, Upside Dawn Golden Ale, and Free Way Double Hop IPA, among others. With a focus on health and wellness, they have managed to carve out a niche in the market by appealing to fitness enthusiasts who want to enjoy a great-tasting beer without compromising their health goals.

Established in 2016 by Rob Fink and James Kindred, Big Drop Brewing Co has quickly become a leader in the low-alcohol craft beer scene. With an array of styles such as Pale Ale, Stout, and Lager, they cater to a wide range of tastes while maintaining a maximum ABV of 0.5%. Their dedication to quality and flavor has earned them numerous awards, including multiple gold medals at the International Beer Challenge.

Weekday Wines is a low-ABV wine brand strategically positioned in the fast-growing "better for you" or "no and low" alcohol category. Weekday Wines are made in California and have 9% ABV, 80 calories/5 oz. serving and zero added sugar.

Started by a husband and wife team, Weekday has recently secured national distribution in the US and is seeking funding and partners to support growth. Reach out to to connect directly.

Unique approaches...

  1. Collaborations and limited editions: To keep things fresh and exciting, these startups frequently collaborate with other brands, bars, and breweries to create limited-edition products. For example, Big Drop Brewing Co has teamed up with various breweries to produce limited edition collaborations like their "World Collab Series."

  2. Environmentally conscious practices: In addition to their innovative products, these startups are also committed to sustainability. Athletic Brewing, for instance, donates 2% of its sales to environmental nonprofits.

Growing demand...

These innovative startups have captured consumers' attention and played a significant role in shaping the low-alcohol beverage market. This market is reported to grow at a CAGR of 5.81% from 2021 to 2026.

As more people become aware of the benefits of low-alcohol beverages and the quality and variety of options available, this market segment is set to continue growing and evolving, offering even more opportunities for new and established players alike.

Hopping onto the bandwagon...

Even the most distinguished breweries can't resist the allure of the low-alcohol beverage market.

Here's why they're taking the plunge:

  1. Diversification and market expansion: By offering low-alcohol alternatives, established breweries are broadening their appeal and tapping into the ever-growing market of health-conscious and mindful drinkers.

  2. Catering to changing consumer preferences: As the demand for low-alcohol beverages continues to rise, these industry giants are adapting their product offerings to stay relevant and competitive.

Shifting landscapes...

Major breweries are stepping up their game by creating no-alcohol versions of their iconic beverages - and they're not holding back on taste or quality.

  1. Heineken 0.0 - With a crisp and refreshing taste that rivals its alcoholic counterpart, Heineken 0.0 has quickly become a fan favourite among low-alcohol beer enthusiasts.

  2. Guinness 0.0 - Even the iconic Irish stout has gone no-alcohol, providing drinkers with the same rich and creamy experience they know and love without the alcohol content.

The real impact...

The entrance of established breweries into the low-alcohol market is causing ripples throughout the industry.

  1. The shift in marketing strategies and product offerings: As major breweries join the low-alcohol movement, we're seeing increased advertising and promotion of these options, further validating the market and contributing to its growth.

  2. Increased competition and innovation: The presence of established players in the low-alcohol market drives innovation and pushes startups to continuously improve their offerings, ultimately benefiting the consumer with a more diverse range of options.

The bottom line...

The rise of low-alcohol beverages is a testament to the shifting landscape of social drinking and the growing emphasis on health and wellness. As innovative startups and established breweries alike embrace this trend, we can expect to see even more creativity, diversity, and quality in the low-alcohol market. With a focus on sustainability, collaboration, and catering to changing consumer preferences, the low-alcohol beverage industry is poised for continued growth and success.

But I still like the full fat versions more...


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