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Attentive to this behavior, brands invest in non-alcoholic options and drinks with different flavors, or with a lower alcohol content.

Contrary to Baby Boomers (1945 to 1964) and Generation X (1965-1979), Gen Z (born after 1995) are reducing their alcohol consumption, as pointed out by trend consultants and market intelligence. Compared to previous generations, this group is the one that drinks the least.

This behavior was already observed in a portion of Millennials (Generation Y/1980-1995), however, the number of supporters among Gen Z is higher. According to a report by Innova Market Insights, one-third of consumers aged 18 to 25 have never consumed alcohol.

A survey by Pattern Data Science, a study association for data science students in the United States, analyzed consumer purchase behavior on Amazon and identified that, between January and July 2021, there was a 60% increase in demand for non-alcoholic beverages in the United States, compared to the same period in 2020. The demand for non-alcoholic beer grew by 85%.

The data signal a change in alcoholic beverage consumption, even if this happens differently in each region around the world. Consumption is no longer guided by exaggeration and this behavior is connected to another strong trend: the search for a healthier lifestyle.

A movement that creates space for new categories, whether from more elaborate non-alcoholic drinks or versions with lower alcohol content to serve this audience. Aware of this scenario, the industry, especially in European countries and the United States, is already beginning to offer solutions for this public.

According to the English magazine The Economist, “the large beverage companies are expanding their offers with low or no alcohol, and this applies to beer, wines and liqueurs. Innovation in this field is flourishing. Almost 50% of Heineken brands, for example, have a non-alcoholic version. In many Western countries, these alternatives are still new, but sales are growing rapidly. In Germany and the Netherlands, countries that adopted the practice early on, non-alcoholic beers constitute 10% of sales of this beverage”, says the report.

According to data from IWSR, a beverage market data and analysis company, the non-alcoholic beverages segment reached 3% of the market in 2020 and is expected to grow by 31% by 2024.

Another data of this category comes from Innova Market Insights, which found that 4% of all beers and spirits launched globally in 2021 did not contain alcohol.

Seltzer´s time to shine

With a low alcohol content, consumption of hard seltzers grew in the wake of this trend. Hard seltzer is a drink produced with cane or cereal alcohol, soda water and fruit juice, usually sold in cans. Its alcohol content varies between 3% and 5%. It was created in the United States in 2013 and arrived in Brazil in 2019.

According to ISWR, by 2019, seltzers had already surpassed vodka as the most consumed spirit in the United States.

A survey by Nielsen, a global information and data company, points out that, in 2018, there were only ten hard seltzer brands available in US supermarkets. There are now over 60 brands.

Also according to Nielsen, hard seltzers are more popular among consumers aged 21 and 44. Another attraction is the low calorie count: a 350ml can has 70 calories.

Check out some hard seltzers options:

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Brisa, from the Brazilian company Sol Bebidas. Available in 310ml cans in lemon, pineapple with mint and watermelon with ginger flavors.
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Hintz, from the Brazilian company Three Monkeys. Sold in berries, citrus, fresh and tropical flavors, with a 5% alcohol content.
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Another national option is Jovi, available in strawberry, tangerine, lemon and pineapple flavors. It has an alcohol content of 4.5% and 42 calories per 100 ml.
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Topo Chico, Coca-Cola´s hard seltzer.
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Hard Mtn Dew, Pepsi´s hard seltzer in partnership with The Boston Beer Company.

More launches with reduced or zero alcohol

The Famiglia Griffo startup company released, in 2021, a botanical spirit based on herbs and fresh fruits, Brizê. The drink contains a 20% alcohol volume, which, by way of comparison, is less than half the grade of gin. And it is only 62 calories per 50ml, which also attracts audiences that are more concerned with calorie intake.

In this low alcohol trend, there are also those who are inspired by the taste of classic drinks to present bold alternatives without alcohol. This is what the American company Ritual Zero Proof did, which recently launched non-alcoholic cocktails with Whisky, Rum, Gin and Tequilaversions.

Conclusion

The growing movement of younger consumers for low-alcohol or non-alcoholic drinks offers a wide universe of opportunities for brands interested in serving this market. Creativity, boldness and health-oriented proposals can help boost the consumer’s thirst for new versions of these beverages, which are on the rise.

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