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Popularity of non-alcoholic beverages is on the rise

Non-alcoholic drinks
Non-Alcoholic Sign
Posted at 8:07 PM, Jul 05, 2024

The popularity of non-alcoholic beverages is on the rise. So much that restaurants and liquor stores are having to adjust the options they give.

Dry January, dry June, and sober October. We hear about the month-long campaigns that encourages people to stop drinking. But, the more consistent trend is the regular non-alcoholic consumption.

"We've definitely noticed an upswing as far as the Generation Z. I think they're very mindful of what they intake and I don't think that the obligatory alcoholic drink before your dinner every night is the reality of today,” said Steve Fox, owner of the Bread & Circuses Bistro & Bar in Towson.

Gen Z is a term used to describe people born in the late 90's and early 2000's.

Fox said the shift is a trend that's affecting the sale of traditional cocktail beverages.

So much, that he's created a section of the menu that is strictly for mocktails. For him, it's an opportunity to tell a story.

"I think going out to dinner is like a conversation. So, say we go out to dinner and there's like a Zelda of this or that and you're like 'oh, I know she was the character in this,' so all of the sudden it gives some playful commentary,” said Fox. "So, my fun is naming all these things and having like a clue in there why I named it that."

Clearly, this is a trend that's here to stay. According to the Cleveland Clinic, researchers found back in 2018, 28% of college students reported that they refrained from alcohol. In 2002, that number was at 20 %.

"A lot more people are searching for that non-alcoholic beverage that has quality and taste,” said Tim Haus, the Manager at Wells Discount Liquors.

It's no different when it comes to the liquor stores. At Wells Discount Liquors, there's a special section dedicated to the non-alcoholic drinks. Haus said the change to the up sale of these beverages is something he saw 2 years ago and now they're having to replenish that section every week.

"In the beer for non-alcoholics there's a lot more choices today. Five years ago, you had the O’Doul’s and Coors. Now you have all these craft specialist beers that are coming out and you have your spirits coming out,” said Haus.

He said they're still generating sales just to a different part of the store.