Gen Z, the generation born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, is exhibiting a discernible pattern of decreased alcohol consumption in comparison to earlier generations. According to Euromonitor International, Gen Z is revolutionising the worlds of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, bringing about a fresh era of conscious consumption, curiosity about sobriety, and the rise of venues and events focused on a ‘dry’ lifestyle.
Gen Z embody ‘less but better’ mantra when it comes to alcohol consumption
The growth of various non-alcoholic beverages demonstrates a significant shift in consumer preferences. Non-alcoholic beer, a longstanding fixture in drinking culture, experienced an impressive 6% increase in total volume growth in 2022.
The emerging non-alcoholic wine segment witnessed a remarkable 9% total volume growth, while the relatively new category of non-alcoholic ready-to-drink (RTDs) beverages gained double-digit momentum. Additionally, non-alcoholic spirits led the way in innovation and functional offerings, achieving a noteworthy 10% total volume growth. These trends signify more than just a passing fad.
Gen Z seem to be prioritising their physical and mental well-being, and actively engage in regular exercise and maintain nutritious diets. They highly value authenticity and seek out meaningful experiences. They eagerly embrace opportunities for meaningful interactions, pursue their passions, and strive to make a positive impact on society.
When socialising, Gen Z often gravitates towards environments that foster creativity, such as art exhibits, poetry slams, or music festivals. They actively participate in outdoor activities, volunteer work, and join clubs and organisations that cater to their diverse interests.
The future of parties for Gen Z
The rise of mindful drinking and sober curiosity, along with moderation initiatives, dry venues and events, and the emergence of no/lo-focused retailers, have blurred the boundaries between the alcoholic and non-alcoholic realms. This trend, once considered niche, is now firmly established and evolving.
Even for younger generations, known for high-energy occasions and consuming alcohol in large volumes, the concept of moderation has become integral to the prevailing “less but better” philosophy.
The next generation of alcohol alternatives and non-alcoholic extensions have matured. New formulations cater to a wide range of consumption occasions, utilising functional cues instead of simplistic methods of dealcoholisation. The integration of botanical alchemy and molecular experimentation with novel ingredients has transformed the no/lo landscape into one of the most innovative and thrilling domains within the alcohol ecosystem. It is clear that this trend is here to stay.