Beverages with low or no alcohol are increasing in popularity. We explore the reasons for this growing trend.
There was a time when not drinking meant having juice, soda or water. Times have changed. There is a growing trend towards drinking beverages such as wine and beer that have low or no alcohol content.
According to the Endeavour Group, the parent company of BWS and Dan Murphy’s, the non-alcoholic drinks category is one of the fastest growing in Australia.
For a country that has, in the past, taken its alcohol consumption with a certain pride, this trend is somewhat unexpected. Interestingly, the younger market, 18 to 24-year-olds, seem to be the ones driving the trend.
Why is it so?
There are several reasons in play that are contributing to the trend.
The desire for a healthier lifestyle
The rise in healthier food categories, such as organic and gluten-free, has a flow-on effect across consumables. People are putting more thought into what they put into their bodies. While there is an abundance of food and drinks that have high fat and sugar content, Australians are encouraged to explore healthier alternatives.
It has been said that the pandemic has made us put more thought into our food and drink choices. One school of thought is that with the disruptions to the supply chain and reduced availability of groceries and food, we had to re-think what we consumed. Another is that we over-indulged during the lockdown and now are looking to improve our choices. Whether these are the reasons or not, there has nonetheless been a change in attitudes regarding our food and drink buying habits.
Beverages with no or low alcohol are healthier options. The fermentation process in wine-making involves sugar. When alcohol is removed, there is a reduction in calories. Therefore, wines where alcohol has been removed, such as Edenvale wines, have fewer calories than traditional wines.
Then there are considerations for the way alcohol negatively affects our bodies. Alcohol can have several short-term and long-term effects on our health, including on the brain, kidneys, liver and heart. While this is nothing new, there is greater awareness of the negative impact of alcohol on our health.
Consideration for pregnancy and medical conditions
We have known for many years that consuming alcohol while pregnant or breast-feeding can cause harm to the baby. Nowadays, more consideration is given to pregnant women and breast-feeding mums. It’s good for them to know they can safely drink non-alcoholic wine without worrying that it might affect their pregnancy or baby.
Many people have medical conditions or are taking medication that excludes them from consuming alcohol. Often, people in these circumstances would like to enjoy a sophisticated, adult drink, but without the alcohol.
Impact of social media and the internet
Many people are turning to social media for information. Social media and ‘influencers’ are having a greater impact on our decision-making. And there are many social media pages devoted to healthier living.
Social media has raised awareness of events such as Dry July, encouraging people to abstain from alcohol for a month for the benefit of their health and at the same time raise funds for a good cause.
The internet and social media have made us more educated on health matters than ever before. Online information on the benefits of abstaining from alcohol is readily available.
Broadening of social acceptance
The peer pressure to consume alcohol is not as intense as it once was in Australia. It is now more socially acceptable to decline the offer of an alcoholic drink.
What’s more, we are more aware that being seen intoxicated is socially frowned upon, especially around children.
Improved quality of alternatives
Due to industry innovation and the quest for better alternatives, the quality of drinks in the low and non-alcoholic categories has improved dramatically.
In the 1980s, when breath-testing on roads became more widespread and the legal blood-alcohol limit dropped, low alcohol beer and wines became more popular and socially accepted. This helped pave the way for beverages with no alcohol at all.
Companies invested in technology to make better quality no/low alcohol beverages that are truer to their traditional counterparts. For example, Edenvale has devoted a huge amount of research and development to enhancing the quality of their alcohol-removed wines and broadening the range.
Edenvale has a large range of true to varietal wines (see below) that taste great – just like traditional wines but with the alcohol removed. The sophisticated technology that removes the alcohol ensures that the flavour is not compromised.
Awareness, range and availability
With the growth of the category, more ranges are stocked at bottle shops and supermarkets where they receive more shelf space. A wider range means better options.
Edenvale has a large range of alcohol-removed wines, including:
- Sparkling Cuvee
- Sparkling Rose
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Pinot Gris
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pink Moscato
- Blanc de Blanc
- Sparkling Shiraz
- Pinot Noir
- Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc
- Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon
- Spanish Sparkling Cuvee
- Sparkling Cuvee
- Aperitivo Spritz
- Hearth Mulled Wine
As a sign of the times, Dan Murphy’s has announced it is opening its first pop up non alcoholic bar, which will offer a range of 200 products, all with 0.5 per cent alcohol or less, and will operate until the end of June.
The future of low and no alcohol beverages
Thanks to greater awareness and social acceptance, the trend in Australia towards drinking beverages with low or no alcohol is growing.
With great options available, such as Edenvale alcohol-removed wines, the trend is set to continue for some time, which is a positive sign for the health and wellbeing of Australians.