‘No alcohol, no problem!’ Drizly tracks US growth of alcohol-free drinks

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Alcohol e-commerce alcohol-free non-alcoholic

Non-alcoholic beer, wine and spirits are growing in popularity in the US, reports Drizly: drawing on both consumer surveys and its own data. ‘Consumers are more than just sober curious, they’re going all in on the non-alcoholic category,” says the US alcohol-ecommerce platform.

In fact, the online platform now carries 80% more non-alcoholic brands than the same period last year: seeing both retailers and consumers becoming increasingly interested in the category. 

A survey from the company found that 23% of Gen Z and 24% of millennials reported drinking non-alcoholic beer, wine or spirits often; showing a generational shift in consumption habits (only 6% of Gen X and 1% of boomers said the same). 

And Drizly's own data backs this up: with the non-alcoholic category now representing one of the fastest-growing sectors on the platform. 

"Despite the relatively small size of the non-alcoholic (NA) categories on Drizly, they experienced dramatic increases in share from 2020 to 2021 and have continued growth since," Liz Paquette, head of consumer insights at Drizly, told us.

"In 2022 specifically, NA categories share on Drizly rose 29% year-over-year compared to 2021, and 174% from 2020.

"Driven by consumer desire for ‘better-for-you’ beverages and rise in product innovation, we anticipate non-alcoholic categories will continue to grow, particularly amongst younger generations."

What drives consumers towards the category?

There's no one overarching reason Drizly consumers come to the category: rather, the reasons for interest vary.

According to Drizly’s 2023 Consumer Trend Report, 50% of survey takers tried NA beer, wine or spirits to see if they like it (39%), others turned to the category when drinking less for a healthier lifestyle (31%), or when they cannot drink alcohol for a specific reason (35%).

What’s more, nearly half (45%) of respondents say they’re 'extremely likely or likely' to take part in a month-long alcohol-free challenge, like Dry January or Sober October.

On Drizly, non-alcoholic spirits experienced a 50% growth in share in 2022 compared to 2021, and 500% from 2020. Non-alcoholic beer experienced a 21% increase in share in 2022 compared to 2021 and 143% from 2020, while NA wine experienced a 20% increase in share compared to 2021 and 200% from 2020. 

Interestingly, it’s male consumers who appear to be leading the charge. In the survey, 14% of male respondents said they drink NA beer, wine or spirits either often or periodically, compared to a relatively small 9% of female respondents who said the same. Male respondents (12%) were also more likely to describe themselves as “sober curious” compared to women (8%).

Beer was the most-preferred NA drink (30%) amongst respondents, followed by NA RTDs (20%), NA wine (17%), and NA spirits (10%).

However, looking forward, survey takers are more curious to try NA RTDs (17%) and NA wine (14%) over NA beer (12%) and NA spirits (10%) — echoing findings from Drizly's 2023 BevAlc Trend Report, which found that RTDs were the top NA category that survey takers anticipated drinking more of in 2023.

Notably, when it comes to the type of NA drink that respondents were most curious about, NA wine topped the list for Gen Z (21%) and millennials (22%), while NA RTDs were the top pick for Gen X (15%) and boomers (17%).

Brands and retailers are responding to demand

Drizly - which is an online marketplace with drinks sold stocked and sold via a network of retail partners - sees a broad increase in interest among retailers in response to consumer trends.

"Drizly’s 2022 Retail Report ​found 22% of retailers surveyed cited that non-alcoholic products overperformed their expectations in 2022," explained Paquette.

"In fact, nearly 61% of retailers surveyed called out NA beer as the non-alcoholic product they’re planning to stock more of in 2023, followed by NA wine (32%), NA ready-to-drinks cocktails (21%) and NA spirits (19%). Overall, 18% of retailers surveyed planned to carry more NA beer in 2023 compared to 2022.

"On Drizly, there are now over 80% more non-alcoholic brands available on the platform in 2023​ compared to the same time period last year​.

"Some of the fastest-growing brands​ on Drizly in the non-alcoholic category in 2023 to date include: TÖST, Hoplark, Omission, Leitz, Pathfinder and Wölffer Estate."

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