If sober is the new drunk, how can alcohol brands innovate to remain relevant to mindful Millennials?

Posted on 06/11/2017 · Posted in Food and Drink, Palm PR

Following a recent report published by Mintel, one third of all Brits have reduced their alcohol intake over the past 12 months with 23% choosing a lower-alcohol beer, cider or wine alternative.

Last month’s Go Sober For October was bigger than ever. Britvic’s annual Soft Drinks Review highlighted the growth of sales in premium soft drinks by 32 percent. And the ‘sober community’ on social media is growing rapidly.

As the general healthy eating movement continues to gather more and more momentum, consumers are spending their disposable income elsewhere, with travelling and eating out often trumping a visit to the pub. With the rise of the newly coined ‘Soberocracy’, younger adults are choosing to go low or alcohol-free to align better with their “cleaner” living lifestyle.

Reporting recently in The Guardian,Angelina Chaplin notes that “sober is the new drunk”, while a recent report by Eventbrite revealed four in ten Millennials had a negative view of someone who is drunk.

In response to this growing trend for more considered drinking, alcohol brands have started to launch zero percent alcohol drinks. Heineken with its new 0.0% beer is a bold effort to engage the Millennial demographic, who are currently at the forefront of the “Sober Socialites” movement.

Spanish alcohol brand mogul Estrella has also recently added 0% alcohol beer to its portfolio: the Estrella Damm Free tastes like a normal lager and means that those going tee-total (permanently or temporarily) can still be present at drinking occasions and not lose all association or loyalty to alcoholic brands.

But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Brands such as Ibiza Ice offers consumers a low alcohol content (ABV of 5.5%) to be enjoyed as part of a balanced lifestyle. It is made with an all-natural blend of Austrian mountain spring water and fruit wine made from apples and pears. This considered ingredient list appeals to a more mindful label-reading generation who care about what they are consuming.

Richard Horwell, Founder of Ibiza Ice says: Our mission is to meet the demand for an innovative, all-natural, honest alcoholic beverage that fits into a balanced lifestyle as consumers become more conscious about what they are drinking. With a naturally lower ABV of 5.5%, we promote socially responsible drinking.”

Whilst there is always an occasion for traditional alcohol brands, it’s worth embracing this trend in balanced living by providing different drinking occasions, driving creative product innovation and continually engaging with the savvy social Millennial demographic.