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Spas, gyms and florists can tap on rising no- and low-alcohol trend, research says

Brewdog AF

The swing towards greater health consciousness is often credited for the surge in no/low alcohol drinking. 

But according to a new study by drinks market analyst IWSR, wellness venues are not tapping on this opportunity enough, and this leaves room for enterprising businesses to leverage on the opportunity.

In a research based on major no/low alcohol consumer markets worldwide, two key data points emerged. One, that most no/low alcohol beverages are actually consumed during the evening, rather than being a daytime affair as is often assumed. And two, that no/low ABV drinks are most often purchased off-trade and drank at home. 

[Read more: Alcohol-free beers, wines and spirits are buzzing]

This consumption pattern leads IWSR analysts to derive that there is an untapped opportunity here for no/low alcohol brands to cash in on.

First, that bars can afford to bet bigger on the no/low alcohol trend and offer up a greater range of alcohol-free products. They cite UK-based Brewdog AF as an example. The supposed world’s first non-alcoholic pub showcases an entire menu of stouts, IPAs, fruit beers and more that are all alcohol-free.

It might look like a regular taproom, but the craft beers at Brewdog AF are all alcohol-free. Photo credit: Brewdog

Second, that wellness-related venues like spas, gyms, florists and gift shops can offer up non-alcoholic adult beverages too, since they do not require an alcohol licence to be sold, and to let them compete directly with their traditional product pool of juices, teas, smoothies and kombuchas.

Their strong alignment with health and wellness, as well as their often premium positioning, synergises well with the no/low alcohol trend. 

“We’ve started looking at spas, studios and hairdressers, as there’s such a link between the category and health and wellness,” says Paul Mathew, founder of alcohol-free aperitif brand Everleaf, in the report. 

“We’re also looking at sporting events, drive-in cinema experiences and events like that where alcohol isn’t as appropriate, but organisers still want to have a premium offering.” 

Everleaf is a brand of non-alcoholic aperitifs made from sustainably sourced plants. Photo credit: Everleaf

In Singapore, pioneering hair salons like Colors Hair and Walking on Sunshine allows drinking of adult beverages while you’re getting your treatment done. Colors Hair even encourages you to bring your own drink if you want to.

The only risk, IWSR warns, is that brands might be spreading themselves too thin. Offering a product at both a gym and a nightclub, for instance, might dilute key brand messages.

The research states: “As such, future segmentation of the category could play an important role, as different types of no/low propositions could effectively target different locations and occasions.”

Read the full original analysis by IWSR here.