A Guide for the Sober Curious
The NoLow movement is picking up steam in the United States, and it’s bringing a whole new group of beverage enthusiasts with it.
The ‘sober curious’ niche is a new breed of consumers who are actively trying to drink less alcohol but don’t want to leave the social scene behind. Instead, they’re pivoting to low-alcohol and no-alcohol wine, beer, and spirits. They may still enjoy alcohol but want to mix that with alcohol-free drinks along the way.
Tracking the NoLow Movement
The sober curious movement is reshaping what a night out looks like, as well as how the next morning feels. Providing a positive alternative to a hangover without sacrificing the fun, no-alcohol and low-alcohol drinks are earning the attention of multiple generations and niche audiences, and enjoying much acclaim in the process:
According to Nielsen, nearly half of all consumers over the age of 21 are making a real effort to reduce their alcohol intake, but this figure jumps to 66% when looking specifically at Millennials. This generation is leading the NoLow movement, with 43% saying they’re turning away from alcohol-heavy drinks as positive health choices.
Also known as the “experience” generation, Millennials are spending less on tangible things and shifting more of their budgets on to traveling and memory-making. Going out for a night of drinking sates their cravings for social experiences, but they’re also increasingly interested in health and fitness. NoLow drinks offer the best of both worlds, giving them an easy way to cut down on alcohol and calories without giving up the social scene.
Those born between 1965-1979 (currently in the 40s to mid-50s) are quitting alcohol due to health concerns at a faster pace than Millennials, but many of them still aren’t ready to say no to all alcohol. With a great choice of no- or low-alcohol drinks, customers can choose to slow down their overall alcohol consumption on a night out, alternating with traditional drinks or sticking to low-alcohol options.
A recent poll found that adults in this age group are drinking too much and too often, and many of them are looking for a way to change this without giving up nights out with friends. Enter NoLow as a viable solution that provides all the flavor without the fallout.
No-alcohol and low-alcohol spirits, wine, and beer are, providing welcome options for religious groups, drivers, travelers, people following strict paleo diets and other niche markets. Earlier this year, Virgin Airlines debuted two new no- and low-alcohol drinks in honor of Dry January, a movement dedicated to supporting abstinence from alcohol for an entire month. The goal was to offer something fresh and complex to its non-alcohol-drinking customers, and the company is now serving upward of 100 of their unique concoctions per flight.
Many religious groups do not allow alcohol consumption; many want to socialize with friends and colleagues while staying true to their faith. Likewise, pregnant women don’t want to feel excluded from social events with friends and family, NoLow is for them.
They are finding NoLow beers, wines, and spirits a suitable option. More complex and flavorful than water or sodas, they are low in calories, sugar, and alcohol, it’s a perfect balance designed to be inspirational and inclusive.
The Future of the NoLow Beverage Market
Is NoLow the new YOLO? Though it might not be a household term just yet, it’s hard to ignore the growing practice of trading your go-to bar drink for a NoLow variety. The market value of non-alcoholic beverages continues to climb while alcohol sales have remained largely stagnant (and even dipping for a short period), and experts believe the trend will only continue.