The Rise of the Mindful Drinker

The Rise of the Mindful Drinker

LWC Drinks

In recent years, industry research has uncovered an increasing consumer trend for ‘mindful’ drinking; “In the UK, a fifth of consumers are choosing not to drink alcohol and over 41% are looking to reduce their overall alcohol intake”. [1] For a lot of consumers, this involves moderation. Cutting down for a week, doing “Dry January”, or choosing lighter drinks with a lower alcohol content.

So, what’s driving this change in attitude, especially from the younger section of the market?

Motivation for such abstinence varies; there could be a fitness, health or weight-loss goal, a cash saving incentive or a bid to keep a sharp mind. Rosamund Dean, journalist and author of Mindful Drinking: How Cutting Down Can Change Your Life explains.

"I was a teenager in the '90s and it was all very boozy; ladettes, Sex and the City, supermodels on the front pages falling out of bars. It was all [considered] very funny. Like in Absolutely Fabulous. I think that’s changed, it's less of a cultural thing now." [2]

As well as people drinking less, there could be other factors, including a boom in the 'experience' of a night out, a greater choice in low and non-alcoholic drinks and a reluctance to have drunk pictures all over Facebook affecting the ability to “share your best life.”

Rosamund adds, "Wellness is a booming industry and people, broadly speaking, are aware of making healthier choices,"

While the consumer inclination to drink less is a concern for the alcohol industry, data indicates that premiumisation continues to be a growing trend across the marketplace; while the total volume of alcohol consumed in 2018 was down 1.3%, the value of the drinks bought was up 2.3%.[3]

For venues, the reaction to this shift has been diversification, such as the introduction of a comprehensive mocktail menu, or a more comprehensive menu of craft sodas and lighter drinks with a lower alcohol by volume (ABV) served with low sugar mixers. While some forward thinking brands are seeing the trend for less but better as an opportunity to create new styles of alcoholic products.

One product which could emerge ahead of the lower calorie alcohol curve is Diageo’s Ketel One Botanical which is a range of vodka distilled with fruit which comes in three fresh flavours: Peach and Orange Blossom, Cucumber and Mint and Grapefruit and Rose. Aimed between the burgeoning gin market and the growing number of health-conscious consumers who still want drinks that taste good, a Ketel One with soda as its suggested mixer comes in at 30% AVB and 73 calories and zero carbs per measure, 25% fewer calories than Vodka and Coke.

Lisa Ronayne, European senior brand manager for Ketel One suggests,

“It lets us tap into a consumer who is looking for a balanced and more mindful lifestyle…It’s kind of that perfect mix between ‘I want something tasty but most things that are tasty are higher calories’ and ‘I want to be well-behaved but well-behaved often doesn’t taste very interesting.’” [4]

Like its target market, Ketel One promises a fresh approach to drinking.




[3] CGA OPMS P12 Data to 01/12/2018


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