Sober October: New beverage launches in the low and no alcohol category

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Surely launches a new Red Blend non-alcoholic wine in the US. Pic: Surely
Surely launches a new Red Blend non-alcoholic wine in the US. Pic: Surely

Related tags alcohol-free NABLAB non-alcoholic Us Uk Npd Tequila

From alcohol-free tequila alternatives to sweet & spicy low alcohol wine, we take a look at some of the latest innovations in the low and no alcohol category.

Surely introduces a new non-alcoholic red blend

surely non alc inset

US company Surely has introduced the latest addition to its portfolio of non-alcoholic wines - a Non-Alcoholic Red Blend.

“Since launching the company [in 2020], we’ve wanted to create a non-alcoholic red wine to savor on its own or enjoy with a meal - arguably one of the most difficult products to create in an authentic way that maintains its character without the alcohol,” says Surely Founder & CEO Ryan Hanson.

“The overwhelming feedback we’ve heard about other non-alcoholic red wines is that they just taste like grape juice, so we wanted to create the complete opposite.” 

The Non-Alcoholic Red Blend mixes a foundation of dealcoholized wine with a proprietary blend of organic teas, botanicals and other natural ingredients to recreate the flavors and textures of a traditional wine drinking experience, without the alcohol.

The liquid combines viticulture expertise from Winemaker Jess Smith with Craft Beverage Developer Michael Colangelo’s background in organic and flavor chemistry, merging the arts of winemaking and mixology.

Building on a base level of aroma, body and texture from the dealcoholized wine, Michael adds ingredients such as organic teas to round out the mouthfeel,  French and American Oak to smooth out the tannins and ginger to create a long, dry finish.

The Red Blend pairs with grilled meats and earthy vegetables thanks to notes of dark fruit, smoke and spice. 

“Far from a flat, boring and watery non-alcoholic replacement, Surely’s Red Blend is layered, bold and complex enough to appeal to the most dedicated and discerning wine lover,” says the brand.

Sweet and spicy wine

stella rosa

Stella Rosa Wines is introducing a new collection of sweet and spicy wines to its portfolio.

The Spicy Series is designed to bring together two trending categories: sweet heat and low-ABV.

The initial Pineapple & Chili flavor is now joined by two new SKUs: Lime & Chili and Mango & Chili; fusing sweetness with heat.

«Each flavor blends Moscato D'Asti grapes and tropical flavors with Italian chili peppers and a 5% ABV, perfectly meeting the palette of loyal and new Stella Rosa fans,” says the US brand.

According to Mintel data, 2 in 3 American consumers are interested in sweet and spicy flavors; while Nielsen notes that sweet wine has become a $1B industry.

"Our consumers are looking for a wine that is flavorful but also lower in alcohol content and fun," said Stella Rosa Wines President, Steve Riboli. "Maybe you're looking for a Taco Tuesday drink but don't necessarily want to break out the Tequila – that's what the Stella Rosa Spicy Series is bringing to the table; an easy and refreshing glass of wine that offers the spice and fizz consumers crave." 

Stella Rosa Pineapple & Chili, Lime & Chili, and Mango & Chili are available for $10.99 MSRP at most major retailers. 

J2O launches its first RTD mocktail range

j20 mocktails

Britvic is expanding its J2O brand with the launch of three RTD mocktails: strawberry and orange blossom mojito; white peach and mango daiquiri; and blackberry and blueberry martini.

The non-alcoholic market in the UK has been growing steadily in recent years, with a third of UK adults now abstaining from alcohol entirely, according to Lumina Intelligence.

“The move is set to help the brand expand its appeal into even more occasions, at a time when non-alcoholic options are continuing to gain relevance,” says Britvic.

“The new Mocktails are designed for consumers seeking elevated experiences and interesting flavours that match up to the cocktail experience, just without any alcohol.”

J2​O Ready-To-Drink Mocktails will be available in 250ml format at £3.49 RRP in the licensed channel from October. To support the launch, there will be ATL activity early next year, to coincide with Dry January.  

Heineken 0.0 launches in Japan

heineken silver

Heineken 0.0 has launched in Japan: with the alcohol-free version now available in 110 markets around the world.

Heineken 0.0 was first launched in 2017: “Created by Heineken's master brewers with carefully selected ingredients and a unique brewing process, the result is a 0.0 beer brewed for beer lovers, by beer lovers,” says the company.

The Heineken 0.0 Japan launch campaign will include TV commercials, digital and in-store promotional activities and retail promotions. In addition, Heineken Japan plans to take advantage of its partnership with Formula 1 to pre-launch Heineken 0.0 at the Japanese Grand Prix.

From 16 October 2023, Heineken 0.0 will be available at restaurants and retail stores in Tokyo and other major cities (330mL sleek cans and 330mL bottles will be available).

Giesen 0% Sparkling Brut

giesen sparkling brut

Giesen 0% of New Zealand, an alcohol-removed wine brand, has unveiled Giesen 0% Sparkling Brut.

Giesen 0% Sparkling Brut is meticulously sourced from select cool climate, highly aromatic grapes from the Waipara region in the South Island of New Zealand. The winemaking team focuses on specific parcels selected for their notes of zesty lemon and grapefruit balanced with pear and stonefruit blossom flavors. 0% Sparkling Brut begins life as a premium full-strength wine before being dealcoholized through spinning cone technology. 

“Light, playful, and effervescent, Giesen 0% Sparkling Brut is styled as an all-occasion sparkling wine with lemon, grapefruit and pear flavors, elevated by effervescence and ending with a velvety mouthfeel that lingers on the palate,” says the brand. “Giesen 0% Sparkling Brut is both dealcoholized and low in calories; with only 21 calories per 5 oz serving with no added sugars, it is one of the lowest-calorie sparkling wines available.”

Now available in the US for a suggested retail price of $19.99 at Boisson and The Zero Proof, Giesen 0% Sparkling Brut joins a range including 0% Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Rosé, and Premium Red. 

Low calorie beer

low cal

Local, an easy-drinking, plant-based brew with 35% fewer calories, makes its retail debut in UK supermarket Co-op.

The Light & Cloudy Pale (3.6% ABV) offers ‘a delightfully crisp and refreshing first sip, complimented with a subtle sweetness’.

The new brew will be available across the UK in more than 300 stores.

2 Towns Ciderhouse enters non-alcoholic space


Oregon cider company 2 Towns Ciderhouse is launching a new non-alcoholic line called Sidekick: starting with Cosmic Crisp and Pacific Pineapple.

Hitting major chain stores across Oregon and Washington, the Sidekick NA drinks are dealcoholized hard ciders, meaning they go through the full fermentation process and then extract the alcohol, leaving less than 0.5% ABV in each can. 

“Using exclusively sourced Northwest apples, both NA hard ciders are crafted with the same high quality ingredients as the original namesake offerings, resulting in a flavor-forward craft ciders without the alcohol,” says the brand.

“Designed to appeal to non-drinkers and those taking drink breaks, the Sidekick line offers cider drinkers new occasions to enjoy their beverage of choice.”

Captain Morgan enters alcohol-free market with Captain Morgan Spiced Gold 0.0%

captain morgan zero point zero

Captain Morgan is rolling out Captain Morgan Spiced Gold 0.0%: an alcohol-free alternative to Original Spiced Gold.

The innovation follows Diageo's moves into alcohol-free over the last few years: notably with Guinness 0.0%, Tanqueray 0.0% and Gordons 0.0%. It is, however, the first dark spirit to join Diageo’s alcohol-free portfolio.

Almost half of consumers aged between 18 and 24 years old are looking to moderate their alcohol consumption, says Diageo, citing Kantar Alcovisio data.

“Captain Morgan Original Spiced Gold 0.0% gives those looking to moderate a deliciously spiced flavour profile, tapping into the increasing popularity of rum, with Captain Morgan seeing global organic net sales growth of 2% in Diageo's F23 Preliminary Results.”

Captain Morgan Spiced Gold 0.0% has been created with ‘intricate layers of flavour, starting with rich notes of caramel, molasses, vanilla and warm brown spices’.

Following a September launch in Great Britain, the drink is now rolling out in Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia with a further rollout across Europe planned next year.

Alcohol-free agave

seven giants

Scottish non-alcoholic spirits producer Spirits of Virtue has launched a range of three non-alcoholic tequila alternatives, tapping into rapid growth in the tequila sector.

Seven Giants is a range of alcohol-free agave drinks, comprising Seven Giants Blanco, Seven Giants Reposado and Seven Giants Añejo.

“Capturing the spirit of Scotland and the soul of Mexico, the products combine unique highland spring water that has percolated through the granite rock of the Cairngorm mountains for over 50 years with premium blue Mexican agave,” explains the company.

“Spirits of Virtue collaborated with an acclaimed drinks expert to create the award-winning beverages, which closely replicate the styles of their alcoholic counterparts. Provenance and authenticity are key messages; the products boast a combination of organic Mexican blue agave, Texan honey and other natural flavorings, including Indian black pepper."

The drink is low calorie, low sugar, vegan, gluten-free and Halal-certified. It comes in 90% recyclable custom glass bottles, designed to represent the agave plant, topped with a cantina style hot branded wooden closure.

The 0.0% ABV drinks have a RRP of £21.99.

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