Are you going for a Pint?

Brand Zero - The placebo effect of drinks in modern socialising

A quiet revolution

The emergence and popularity of 0% alcoholic drinks have challenged conventional norms of socialising, redefining how we unwind, connect, and enjoy our leisure time. 

These alcohol-free alternatives are no longer just placeholders on the shelves; they are now the stars of the show, drawing attention for their placebo effect, health benefits, and the shift in societal attitudes toward responsible consumption.

The on-trade and off-trade sectors have been quick to embrace this trend. Bars and restaurants are now offering alcohol-free sections on their menus that offer complex flavours and exciting combinations. These options cater to the increasing demand for non-alcoholic wines, lagers and ‘mocktails’, whether it’s the health-conscious millennial or the designated driver. In the off-trade sector, the shelves that were once dominated by the high-ABV (alcohol by volume) drinks are now sharing space with an array of 0% alternatives. The modern beer aisle is evolving to reflect changing consumer preferences, offering choices that promote wellbeing without compromising on enjoyment. 

Gone are the days where it was a struggle to find a non-alcoholic option on a night out, or if you were lucky enough to find an option, you may have to spend some time scraping the dust off the bottle! In the past 6yrs, we’ve seen an increase of over 500% in the entire No & Low category, largely driven by a shift in consumer mind sets. Consumers are more mindful, more health conscious and ultimately more educated on moderation and its importance. 50% of consumers are actively seeking to moderate their alcohol intake and 10% looking to abstain entirely, all of which has driven the incredible development and growth of the sector is such a short time frame. Whatever the reasoning behind a consumer decision to choose a no or low option, they should have just as much variety, choice and availability and their counterparts who don’t choose this option.
Gemma Herdman, Brand Manager United Wines

The hospitality industry, known for its adaptability, has seamlessly integrated 0% alcoholic drinks into its offering. Hotels and event venues are recognising the need to cater to a diverse taste, some of which may opt for a night out without the morning-after consequences. This shift in attitudes has been fuelled by the changing perspectives of the current generation. Unlike their predecessors, today’s youth are less fixated on the need for high-ABV drinks as a social lubricant. The emphasis has shifted from getting messy to mindful enjoyment. This generation values the freedom to wake up early for a workout or to embark on a productive day, unburdened by a heavy night’s session.

The Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, itself an institution of innovation, has recognised this shift. The once-dismissive stance on non-alcoholic or low-ABV drinks has evolved into an enthusiastic embrace.

Marketing strategies have pivoted to highlight the sophistication and quality of 0% alcohol drinks. These products are positioned as elegant alternatives that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere, and without the need for compromise. The packaging has become more refined, shedding the stigma that once clung to non-alcoholic options. Advertisements now portray these as the drink of choice for those who seek both pleasure and wellness.


Identifying and targeting the right market has been integral to the success of 0% alcohol drinks. These products resonate with a broad spectrum of consumers, from individuals seeking healthier options to those looking to avoid the aftereffects of alcohol. Marketing campaigns have become inclusive, showcasing diverse social scenarios where these drinks blend effortlessly in, allowing everyone to enjoy the moment without feeling left out. 

In summary, the rise of 0% alcohol drinks symbolises a movement towards mindful consumption and holistic well-being. These drinks offer the best of both worlds; the pleasure of sipping a well-crafted drink and the freedom to live life to the fullest the following day. The hospitality and drink brands have all played their part in embracing this trend, transforming it from a niche choice to a mainstream movement. As the popularity of these drinks continues to grow, the message is clear:

we can raise our glasses high without raising our alcohol content, celebrating the joys of life while embracing healthier choices.