Avoidance of alcohol is becoming the norm for a growing minority of consumers around the world. While this trend is seen across all age groups, it is most apparent in Generation Z, with as many as a third of consumers aged 18 – 25 now saying that they never consume alcohol.
This trend is creating an entirely new sub-category within the alcoholic drinks market. Younger consumers appear reluctant to turn their backs on either the taste or sophistication of beer, wine and spirits in favour of traditional soft drinks. As a result, alcohol-free choices are flooding the shelves.
According to a new report from Innova Market Insights, four percent of all the beers and spirits launched globally in 2021 contained no alcohol at all, rising to seven percent among flavoured alcoholic beverages (FABs). Launch numbers in each of these areas have grown at CAGRs of 20 – 40 % over the past five years.
Alcohol removal is also becoming far more mainstream. “The big guns are all invested in the alcohol-free movement,” reports Lu Ann Williams, Global Insights Director at Innova Market Insights. “Brands such as Guinness 0.0 alcohol free stout and Freixenet 0.0 sparkling rosé wine offer both familiarity and novelty to young, brand-conscious drinkers.”
It is not all about a ‘no alcohol’ positioning, however, as launches of low-alcohol drinks such as hard seltzers are growing twice as fast. The soft drinks giants have even been exploring this area in partnership with alcohol companies. For example, Coca-Cola (with Molson Coors) already offers the Topo Chico hard seltzers brand, while PepsiCo (with the Boston Beer Co) is ready to roll out Hard Mtn Dew in early 2022. PepsiCo has also applied for a trademark that suggests an alcoholic version of Rockstar could be on the cards.
Whether it is in alcohol reduction or its complete removal, the industry is recognizing that alcohol-shy youngsters are the target audience of tomorrow. Adjusting to their needs is a major focus for right now.
Teetotalism trends in the Asia-Pacific region are becoming increasingly prevalent, with approximately *3three out of four (71 %) of consumers drinking less alcohol in August 2020, according to a survey by leading data and analytics company GlobalData. However, the adoption of alternative soft drinks remains low, at only one in five* consumers. In fact, APAC customers surveyed are more attracted by health claims – specifically products noted to help support mental wellbeing – with such products purchased by nearly a third of consumers. Going forward, it will be crucial for drinks brands to blur the lines around traditional alcoholic products and offer ‘better for you’ messaging.
Carmen Bryan, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “APAC consumers are turning away from alcohol driven by concerns around physical and mental health. While general health concerns take precedence, backed by *almost half (49 %) of the region’s population, weight management, fitness, physical appearance and emotional wellbeing are all considerable factors driving low or no-alcohol innovations.”
Recognizing this trend, New Zealand-based companies Adashiko and Parker Beverages recently launched a collagen-infused bottled water, marketed as ‘premium’ and ‘sophisticated’. This launch leverages growing demand for alternatives to alcohol that incorporate functional properties, writes GlobalData.
Bryan adds: “By incorporating functional and beneficial ingredient formulations, companies such as Adashiko-Parker Beverages are able to align to personalized health trends and cater to an evolving consumer landscape.”
Looking at alcohol consumption trends more closely, GlobalData’s research reveals that, of the *271 % of consumers drinking less, a sizeable *20 % (one in five) have stopped drinking alcohol altogether. In contrast, when asked a similar question in the US.
Bryan adds: “As pubs and bars closed their doors this year, and tensions regarding public health heightened, consumers were forced to reassess their priorities and lifestyles. Trends are shaping new home-bound leisure and social occasions where consumers seek the same taste and feel of mature drinks without the negative implications.”
Japanese FMCG company, Morinaga, is leveraging these trends with its amazake product range. Most notably, the Morigana Collagen in Haenuki flavour puts a healthy twist on the traditional sweet and low-alcohol Japanese drink by highlighting the high collagen and alcohol-free claims.
Bryan adds: “GlobalData’s research highlights the importance of premium positioning and clear ‘better for you’ messaging. By leveraging wellbeing factors such as natural, immunity-boosting or skin health, brands can create a premium product that blurs consumers’ perceptions around traditional alcoholic products. A rebranding mission, of sorts. Going forward, it will be crucial for brands to blur these lines further, emphasizing the positive health credentials that will help reassure consumers, both mentally and physically, to tap into multiple consumption occasions and justify a potentially higher price mark up.”
*GlobalData’s 2020 market pulse survey – Asia-Pacific – published 1 September 2020
*2Combined responses: “I try to consume a moderate amount” and “I am trying to reduce my intake as much as possible”
*3Combined responses: “I try to consume a moderate amount”, “I am trying to reduce my intake as much as possible”, and “I avoid this entirely”
Young Indian beer lovers are leading the way in responsible beer consumption, as the latest research from Mintel highlights that more than two in five (41 %) Indian beer drinkers aged 25 – 34 say they are interested in switching from standard strength beer to low/no alcohol (LNA) versions.
While alcohol moderation is becoming more pronounced among Indians as a whole, with an average of 38 % of Indian beer consumers* interested in switching to low/no alcohol versions, the over 45s (32 %) are less enthusiastic about making this switch.
The top three barriers for beer consumption among Indian consumers include health reasons (48 %), to avoid getting drunk (35 %) and to avoid hangovers (31 %).
Natasha Kumar, Mintel Food and Drink Analyst, India, said: “Responsible and healthy drinking has become the mantra amongst young Indians today. While this behaviour is seen across all age groups with Indians showing interest in LNA beer, it is more noticeable amongst young consumers aged 25-34 years. Brands need to explore opportunities around reduced or no alcohol options since this consumer group makes up a significant majority of beer drinkers in the country. With the current pandemic causing consumers to be even more conscious about their health and diet, the LNA category is expected to grow further post the lockdown. It also offers brands the opportunity to connect with health-conscious and responsible beer drinkers, which will prevent them from dropping out of the beer category entirely.”
Indian beer lovers are watching their waistlines
Shining a spotlight on health and wellbeing, Mintel research highlights that many Indian consumers are interested in trying low-calorie (43 %) and gluten-free (32 %) beer. In fact, over a third of consumers (34 %) say low-calorie content is an important factor when purchasing beer.
“As consumers claim that health is a key deterrent for regular beer consumption, the opportunity lies in expanding beer offerings with healthier profiles addressing concerns surrounding health. Low-calorie, low-carb and gluten-free beers can all appeal to this consumer need. As one of the largest producers of millet in the world, Indian brewers can turn towards this unconventional grain to cater to consumer demand. Countries such as Norway and Spain can act as good reference points for Indian brands to take inspiration for gluten-free beer. Diversifying the portfolio will help brands to expand consumer base to those health-conscious consumers,” continues Natasha Kumar.
Packaging innovations in craft beer can cater to the masses
Finally, Mintel research highlights that the most preferred type of beer includes lager (63 %) and wheat beer (51 %). In addition, craft beer is consumed by almost half of Indian consumers (45 %) and is perceived to be of high quality and worth a premium price, as three in four consumers (75 %) agree that it is worth paying more for it over mainstream beer.
“The popularity of lager and wheat beer indicate that lighter beers are more suitable to the Indian palate. For craft beer to appeal to a larger population of consumers, brands should innovate and introduce more craft beer varieties in lager, ale and wheat beer. One of the main benefits of craft beer is that consumers perceive it is better quality and as such, they are willing to pay more for it. Brands can premiumise their brand portfolio by adding craft beers to target consumers who are willing to pay extra. Craft beer was gaining significant traction in the country, however, the lockdown has caused pubs/microbreweries to shut, limiting the majority of craft beer sales. Bottling/canning could be the next step for craft beer brands, ensuring it reaches consumers with wider distribution, retail stocking and relatively longer shelf life.” concludes Natasha Kumar.
*1,655 Indian internet users aged 25+ who have drunk beer in the past six months
The iGeneration (also known as Gen Z) is the name given to people born between 1995-2007, following Generation Y. The “i” represents the technology that this generation has grown up with, for example, iPhone, iPod, Wii and iTunes.
The iGeneration are known to consume large amounts of media on a daily basis, averaging between six and nine hours. They use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat as information sources and a way to connect with brands.
Growing Purchasing Power
As this generation graduate from school and college, they begin to have a growing purchasing power, and by 2020, they will account for 40 percent of the consumer market. Influenced by their level of control, identities and globalization, these behaviours and characteristics are shaping the beverage industry, as they look for products to improve their physical and emotional health, as well as helping the environment.
This digitally-connected generation are more concerned over safety, taking fewer risks and drinking less alcohol than former generations. In comparison to previous generations, the iGeneration have become conscious of what they put in their bodies. This is driving the explosion of variety in low alcohol or no alcohol alternatives on the supermarket shelves.
This is driving the explosion of variety in low alcohol or no alcohol beverages on the supermarket shelves, driving the desire for more sophisticated drinks. Mocktails are becoming more inventive with savoury and spicy notes, appealing to the iGeneration’s broad and adventurous palates. The iGeneration are one of the most ethnically diverse groups and therefore more receptive to ethnic flavours, driving an appeal towards botanical-infused drinks.
This generation have been educated to make healthier choices, particularly around ever-growing concerns over the consumption of sugar. With CSD’s in decline, bottled and flavoured water has noticeably increased as a replacement, along with cold brew coffees and teas, with more innovative flavours and ingredients.
Transparency is also valued, leading to a higher number of clean label claims. According to Global Data’s study in 2018, 42 % of iGeneration “are often or always influenced by how ethical, environmentally friendly, or socially responsible a product is in the following sectors” in comparison to only 28 % from the silent generation.
The iGeneration are revolutionising the eating experience. Convenience has become key to meet on-the-go lifestyles and creating grab-and-go convenience opportunities for not just meals, but snacks and beverages. As told by Global Data, “Gen Z and Millennials are most likely to use out-of-home services on a regular basis compared with older age cohorts.” They often prefer to stay at home and use technology to get a food delivery.
According to a study by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) and the Centre for Generational Kinetics, 24 % of the iGeneration order a takeout three or four times in a typical week, exceeding any other generation. It is worth noting that these deliveries are mostly healthy in order to keep up to go with their on-the-go lifestyles. As told by Tufts Nutrition, 41 % of Gen Z say they would spend more on foods they perceive as healthier, in comparison to only 32 % of millennials and around 21 % of baby boomers.
Source Treatt: www.treatt.com
Scientifically formulated range that replenishes nutrients and minerals lost during partying, travelling and exercising
HangZing is an innovative business founded by a British Chemical Engineer and is committed to using ground-breaking technology to create radical food and drink products.
HangZing produces a revolutionary range of drinks designed to give a natural pick-me-up for people that work hard and play hard. The drinks are scientifically formulated using a blend of naturally-functional ingredients to fight the after-effects of alcohol consumption and to replenish the nutrients and minerals lost during partying, traveling and exercising.
Available in two innovative varieties, Lychee & Lemongrass and Garden Mint, every convenient 100 ml bottle is made by combining herbs, electrolytes and vitamins. The range is sweetened naturally from pure Canadian maple syrup and is free from added sugar, sweeteners and is suitable for vegans.
HangZing helps individuals reboot and get the most from their day and provides a natural alternative to unhealthy “morning after” remedies, including pain killers and junk food.
Product Functionality and Usage
As the liver metabolizes alcohol, a compound called Acetaldehyde is produced as a by-product. Acetaldehyde is a harmful, toxic compound for the human body. It is this that causes the headaches, nausea, muscle aches, fatigue, increased sensitivity to light and facial flushing associated with too much drinking.
HangZing works in three ways. First, it harnesses the powers of the hepatoprotective herbs Hovenia Dulcis, Milk Thistle, Nopal Cactus and Siberian Ginseng, which may facilitate the breakdown of the by-product Acetaldehyde into smaller components which can then be passed through the system.
Aloe Vera, Turmeric and Vitamin C work together to reduce the inflammation and neutralize the acidity in the stomach to ease discomfort, along with boosting the immune system. Finally, electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B complex (B1, B3, B6, B5, B12, B9) replenish the minerals and nutrients lost from drinking.
Many variables including age, weight, sex and ethnicity affect how individuals are able to detoxify alcohol in their system. To address this diversity, HangZing’s research and development involved creating a proprietary formula in a bottling laboratory through an iterative approach of testing different quantities of each ingredient on hundreds of people over a period of time.
“Extensive research has shown that dihydromyricetin (DHM), a compound in hovenia dulcis, boosts the ability of the enzymes ADH and ALDH to break down both alcohol and acetaldehyde. The research concludes that DHM can, therefore, speed up the process with which the liver breaks down acetaldehyde into smaller compounds, such as acetate, carbon dioxide and water, which can then be expelled through breathing, sweat and urine.” *(Chen et al., 2006)
HangZing is designed for anyone who wants to get the most out of the day after a heavy evening the night before, from busy professionals to those marking a special occasion. Packaged in a box of six 100 ml bottles, HangZing works best when consumed just before bed with plenty of water.
HangZing is available via Amazon Prime and the brand’s website: www.hangzing.com in two varieties, Lychee and Lemongrass and Garden Mint, for $28.99 per box (6 x 100 ml bottles).
*Chen, S., Li, A., Li, S., Wu, L. and Zhong, G. (2006). Influence of Hovenia dulcis on alcohol concentration in blood and activity of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) of animals after drinking. China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica, 31(13), pp. 1094-1096.