Why the non-alcoholic beverage trend is more important than ever during the pandemic

By Laura Taylor, founder, Mingle Mocktails

- Last updated on GMT

Mingle Mocktails draws on the hottest cocktail and flavor combinations for its 5 varieties. Pic:Mingle Mocktails
Mingle Mocktails draws on the hottest cocktail and flavor combinations for its 5 varieties. Pic:Mingle Mocktails

Related tags: mocktails, NABLAB

The non-alcoholic category is exploding because people are demanding choices that are crafted to be just as appealing as their alcoholic counterparts, writes Laura Taylor, founder of US brand Mingle Mocktails, in this guest article.

I used to enjoy one, two or maybe three cocktails at work and social gatherings. I liked the fact that it felt relaxed and part of the occasion. 

Five years ago, I gave up drinking alcohol and found it wasn't as fun to attend those same social gatherings while holding a boring seltzer in my hand. Others cocktails and delicate wine glasses looked far more appealing than the clunky glass of sparkling water. 

After a super bowl party where I spent the night with friends and seltzer, I went home, jumped on the computer and researched what type of non-alcoholic ready-to-drink mocktails were on the market to bring to the next social gathering. 

I was surprised to learn three things:

  1. mocktails are on-trend as an emerging segment,
  2. bars and restaurants are featuring mocktails and other adult alcohol-free beverages on cocktail menus, and;
  3. there weren’t any appealing non-alcoholic mocktail that I could buy online. 

So, I decided to make my own, and launched Mingle Mocktails, a line of alcohol-free cocktails designed to make drinking occasions fun for everyone.

As we deal with this crazy time where we’re forced to isolate, entertain at home, and create our own fun, social drinkers who enjoy a cocktail or two are continuing to drink their wine and spirits at home, while non-drinkers are seeking a more elevated alcohol-free experience in the form of non-alcoholic spirits or mocktails to enjoy at home too. 

Mingle Mocktails

mingle inset

> A line of alcohol-free cocktails in five options inspired by the hottest cocktail and flavor combinations: Blackberry Hibiscus

> Bellini, Cranberry Cosmo, Cucumber Melon Mojito, Blood Orange Elderflower and The Moscow Mule.

> Mingle Mocktails are 'carefully crafted with fruit juices and botanicals to delight the palate with a light, crisp and pleasant mouthfeel surprisingly as appealing as a cocktail, just without the alcohol.' 

> The drinks are designed to be 'upscale yet approachable, perfect for any occasion ranging from a backyard BBQ to a formal wedding reception'

> The ready-to-drink mocktails use natural ingredients and are Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Vegan-Friendly, Alcohol-Free, Kosher and have 20 calories per serving. Can be enjoyed as a mocktail, or with spirits for a light cocktail. 

> Available in 3000+ US stores including Whole Foods, Wegmans, Stop & Shop, Giant Markets, Safeway, Acme Markets, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Cost Plus World Market, DeCicco's Markets, SPECS Texas, Zupans Oregon, and other natural, independent grocers and specialty & liquor stores.

Mingle Mocktails has seen a tremendous surge in ecommerce business, up 1000% from 2019, reinforcing that people who don’t drink still like to party. Feedback from online customers has shown how they’re experiencing a fulfilling alcohol-free lifestyle while dealing with this pandemic.

According to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), almost 30% of Americans don’t drink alcohol and more than 50% take booze breaks. Up to just a few years ago, this population was stuck with NA beer or wine.  

In a day where people with nutritional allergies and dietary preferences can choose from a plethora of plant-based and gluten-free options, it’s about time that those who are alcohol-free have choices too. 

Now there are many alcohol-free choices available that are delicious, upscale, sophisticated and even flexible for those who would like to also mix their mocktails. 

This non-alcoholic market segment is exploding because people who are experimenting or fully alcohol-free are demanding choices that are crafted to be just as appealing as cocktail.  

As we continue to weather the pandemic, it’s great to see that those who are alcohol-free can choose from a number of booze-free options, making it one less thing to worry about during this time loaded with worries.  We will continue to see growth in this category unlike ever before. 

Dry January is always synonymous with going alcohol-free, but 2021 will be a momentous year for the non-alcohol category to bubble over with options like Mingle Mocktails.

mingle mocktails headshot

About the author:​ Laura Taylor grew up in San Diego, graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and planned on staying in California until she met her husband at a temporary assignment in Chicago, where they stayed for 15 years to raise their 2 teenagers.

Laura developed a career in consulting and software sales, holding management positions at companies like Accenture, IBM and Tableau. They relocated to Philadelphia, where Laura left her career to launch, manage and grow Mingle Mocktails.

She works quite a bit, but also enjoys her Peloton, barre classes, walks with their 2 dogs, getting manicures with her daughter, date night with her husband, and, if she’s lucky, a nap on Sunday afternoons. With Mingle, Laura has enjoyed spending time with friends and family doing just about anything and everything together, whether it be family vacations or neighbohorhood BBQs.

Can non-alcoholic drinks match the fun of wine tasting?

Laura recently spent a weekend Long Island’s North Fork wine country and did a wine tasting weekend with friends - without the wine - because she craved the social connection of spending time with her husband and close friends in a scenic area. She used the experience to show how Mingle Mocktails can be used as an alternative: packging a bottle of Blackberry Hibiscus Bellini, which has the hue of a nice pinot noir, and Moscow Mule, with an amber hue easily reminiscent of a chardonnay. 

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