What is a NoLow Drink?

NoLow drinks make it easy to enjoy the bar when you’re not drinking alcohol. Some call it a new type of drink. Others call it a movement.  Either way, it’s hard to ignore the impact that NoLow drinks are leaving on the beverage industry.

These no- and low-alcoholic concoctions are giving traditional beer, wine, and liquor brands a run for their money, particularly at a time when global alcohol consumption has seen its first decrease since the turn of the century. With an alcohol content ranging from zero to less than 1.2% ABV, these up-and-coming beverages are seeing steady growth as more consumers are enjoying fewer calories and decreased alcohol consumption while still enjoying great tasting drinks.

Here’s why more people are making NoLow drinks a high priority.

What Exactly is a NoLow Beverage?

NoLow is a portmanteau in the drinks industry meaning no-alcohol and low-alcohol. 

For a drink to be considered NoLow in the UK, the alcohol content must be no greater than 1.2% ABV. Drinks that contain less than 0.05% alcohol are considered alcohol-free and fall within the NoLow category.

In the United States, however, the exact definition is a bit more complicated. Labeling regulations for no or low alcoholic beer, wine, and cocktails aren’t exactly standardized, which adds complexity to the process. For comparison, the average alcoholic beer contains about 4.5% ABV, so a common definition of low alcohol is anything less than 4% ABV, while no alcohol is anything less than 0.5% ABV.

Less Alcohol, More Enjoyment

Drinking remains a social activity – for lots of us, it’s a time to be with friends, relax and share news; now it’s becoming more common to see people leaving out the main ingredient: alcohol. In fact, alcohol consumption is on the decline, while the number of people who don’t drink alcohol at all is rising. 

These shifting preferences are creating a clear path for a new champion, providing a healthier, more desirable alternative to beer, wine, and cocktails

To be clear, NoLow drinks have actually existed for years (we’re looking at you, O’Doul’s), but the increasing consumer interest in health is creating a renaissance for this underrated category. People want to focus on their health, but they don’t want to stop going out. Replacing their typical beer, wine, or mixed drink with NoLow drinks means that they can choose a healthier option which also has great flavor. 

Where to Experience the NoLow Movement

At a time when consumers are increasingly preoccupied with living their best lives in every sense of the word, NoLow drinks are finding their niche, and it’s larger than anyone may have predicted. 

NoLow beer, wine, and cocktails are likely already hanging out at your neighborhood bar or grocer, and if they aren’t yet, they will be soon. Even mainstream brands are joining the NoLow movement, including famed beermaker Heineken, whose Heineken 0.0 beer delivered the strongest growth the brand has seen in more than a decade.

As NoLow continues to build momentum in the beverage industry, rest assured there will plenty of mixologists ready to rise to the challenge of creating new, exciting varieties that will please just about every palate.

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