Bars offering non-alcoholic drinks growing in popularity across the country

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Hanging out at a bar usually involves ordering an alcoholic drink for most people, but a new trend of bars offering cocktails without alcohol – also known as “mocktails” – is gaining steam.

Experts at NielsenIQ, a data site tracking consumers’ buying habits, found the trend is growing mostly among Generation Z and Millennials, who are opting for a healthier lifestyle.

As the interest grows, bars offering non-alcoholic beverages are popping up all over the country, from larger cities like Philadelphia and New York City,to smaller areas like Racine, Wisconsin.

A new non-alcoholic bar is set to open in Raleigh, North Carolina, giving people the option to enjoy a full night out without the morning hangover.

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Raleigh’s new non-alcoholic bar, Umbrella Dry Bar, will have a large bash on New Year’s Eve before its grand opening on Jan. 5. Owner Meg Paradise said the concept started as a pop-up bar, but its popularity ultimately in the decision to make it a stand-alone bar. 

Paradise said she wants people to come in and not feel pressured to buy an alcoholic drink.

“It’s a Wednesday so I’m not gonna drink, then you go up to the bar and you kind of freeze, and you’re like what do you have, and ya know it’s sort of just a weird situation,” she said.

Paradise said more people are opening non-alcoholic bars as “Dry January” nears and people consider adding a healthier lifestyle to their New Year’s resolutions.

MORE NEWS ON NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

“That decision has already been made, and you don’t have to be thinking about it when you walk into this space,” she explained.

NielsenIQ reports there are two main reasons people pour into these bars – new flavors and a social experience. 

“What we’re seeing more and more recently is there’s non-alcoholic spirits that are being placed in these mocktails, and so it’s no longer just a mixture of juices to make a mocktail margarita but you’re actually getting that full flavor,” said Kaleigh Theriault, NIQ’s director of beverage engagement.

non-alcoholic liquors on shelf

The non-alcoholic spirits are flavored like tequila, gin, or bourbon, NIQ said, seemingly leading people to choose non-alcoholic options more this year than ever before.

“Grocery stores, liquor stores and convenient stores, we see nonalcoholic beer, wine and spirits, at over a half a billion dollars, and they’re growing double digits year over year. That growth hasn’t slowed,” Theriault said. 

Nonalcoholic sales continue to grow

Fortunately for bar goers across the country, most non-alcoholic bars are open during the typical bar hours. 

“Ya know you wanna stay out till midnight on a Friday night or whatever, we’re here,” Paradise said.

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