Americans are drinking less; non-alcoholic brands are saturating shelves: report

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More Americans are making lifestyle changes, consuming fewer alcoholic beverages and switching to non-alcoholic brands that resemble booze-filled cans and bottles.

Consumers are choosing an alcohol-free lifestyle either part-time or all of the time, and 41% of consumers surveyed say they intend on drinking even less in 2024, according to a report published by NC Solutions.

Regarding the survey, 1,000 Americans 21 years of age and older were questioned on their current drinking habits and future plans for alcohol consumption.

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Gen Z was recognized as the generation that started the recent “sober conscious” movement, and 42% of those surveyed believe they have gestured toward the change and turned it into a trend.

“We’re seeing an age range of 24-45, and actually even younger,” Jordan Bass, co-founder of Hop Wtr, an LA-based, non-alcoholic sparkling hop water, told FOX Business during a phone interview. “We tend to see that our consumers are also fairly health conscious.”

The Gen Zers are prioritizing their mental health over alcohol consumption and partying, with 36% of the generation surveyed saying they are going alcohol-free for their mental health, specifically.

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HOP WTR Drinks

However, these same consumers are still looking to crack the top of a cold one. Though they consider it a healthier alternative to drinking, prefer the taste, and relish the Instagram-worthy appearance of mocktails and non-alcoholic wine and beer.

“We wanted our product to be approachable,” Bass said. “We wanted to choose flavors consumers knew, know and love, and we didn’t want to go with really obscure flavors. You have to ensure that the liquid tastes good. We also wanted unique branding because the beverage shelf is crowded.”

Hop Wtr’s flavors include peach, lime, mango and blood orange, among others. The latest SKU revealed is ruby red grapefruit.

Of the reasons Americans are consuming less booze, 58% are doing so to improve their physical health, in addition to losing weight and saving money.

Ahead of their launch in August 2020, Bass, a health and wellness devotee, and co-founder Nick Taranto, a retired Marine and college athlete, wanted to consume a beverage in celebration without feeling excessively full and hindering their natural, health-conscious lifestyles – just like Gen Z.

“We both got to talking, and we really wanted something that’s lower in calories, lower in carbohydrates and had no sugar,” Bass said.

He added that his wife, who was pregnant with their first child at the time, noted his unhealthy love for crushing double IPAs on the couch at night.

Jordan Bass, HOP WTR

“What we’re seeing is our consumers are looking to moderate,” Bass said.

Over 41% of Americans are looking to drink less in 2024, and 29% of non-drinkers feel judged by their peers for the choice, according to the report.

“Eighty percent of our consumers consume alcohol,” Bass added. “They’re looking for a non-alcoholic drink because they don’t want the carbs. We’re even seeing that consumers will enjoy an alcoholic beverage and a non-alcoholic beverage in that same occasion.”

Bass also said Hop Wtr consumers are split evenly between men and women. Of the surveyed women who have given birth within the last year, 1 in 4 of them said they had non-alcoholic wine, beer or spirits while pregnant or nursing.

Hop Wtr is sold in 42 states in various locations, like Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and, most recently, Walmart.

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