The Low-Alcohol Drinker is Here to Stay. Here’s How (and Why) to Reach Them.

Beyond the self-fulfilling prophecy of Dry January, low-and-no-alcohol is seeping into the mainstream.

People are dipping toes into non-alcoholic and low-alcohol products more and more. For businesses (like yours) in the beer, wine and spirits world, this new trend means yet another path to meeting a potential repeat customer.

Let’s dig in so you can better understand and approach this growing interest.

Why low-alcohol?

Despite the growth of non-alcoholic spirit, beer and wine products, drinkers aren’t going totally Puritan.

Instead, they’re finding ways to lighten up so that they can indulge more often.

“The ritual of creating and enjoying a cocktail is pretty deeply embedded in me, but if I do that seven nights a week, it’s too much. …. The holistic experience has become less and less reliant on the actual inebriation of the cocktail.”

Douglas Watters, owner of Spirited Away in NYC, as told to PUNCH

We’ve seen this idea magnified by the pandemic. Drinking at home spurred a cocktail revival. Kitchens became bars, which meant every night was kind of a night out. To curb the cocktail-a-day shift, many people started reaching for low-alcohol alternatives.

What constitutes low-alcohol?

This is the harder point to nail down.

Sometimes, drinkers opt for products that are actually lower in alcohol. They might reach for a Cabernet Franc instead of a Bordeaux, for example, or a Michelob Ultra instead of a Budweiser.

Other times, they’ll introduce alternatives while mixing a drink. A margarita made with tequila, lime and orange juice rather than the traditional triple sec, for one, or a Negroni that uses a non-alcoholic aperitif in place of Campari, for another.

And, in most cases, it’s a mix of these low-alcohol approaches.

How do I reach a low-alcohol drinker?

In short: The same way you’d reach any other drinker.

Use marketing—from digital ads to customer newsletters to organic social posts—to show that you understand.

If your products aren’t low-alcohol, do a little digging to see how they can pair with other low-or-no-alc options. Look at adjacent basket purchases to see what people buy together. You may find that your shoppers have done the pairing research for you.

If your products are low-alcohol, market them that way. See how calling out the lower-ABV status affects engagement and purchases.

Key Takeaway:

Low-alcohol isn’t all-or-nothing. It’s an exercise in creative (dare we say innovative?) experimentation.

Find ways to bring your products into the conversation. You’ll grow closer to a really valuable sub-segment of drinkers that is growing swiftly.

As always, we’re here to help you weather trends and grow effectively: