Blame Social Media, Online Gaming for Bev/Al Sales Decline

Thanks to social media and online gaming, going out drinking and to socialize is a non-necessity. And when they go out, Gen Zers drink less alcohol. In the U.S., Gen Zers (those aged 12 to 27 years) consume 20% less alcohol, on average, than millennials (28- to 43-year-olds).

“This trend isn’t just in the United States; other countries have also observed reductions in alcohol drinking, particularly binge drinking,” said Dr. Joseph Volpicelli, executive director of the Institute of Addiction Medicine, in a statement to The Food Institute. “For example, the National Tax Agency of Japan was so concerned with losing tax revenues from alcohol sales that it launched a campaign to encourage young people to drink more.”

(An aside: Imagine that! A government agency that hasn't bought the WHO line that a single-drop of alcohol can have deadline disease consequences.)

Another factor, the Food Institute suggests when it comes to Gen Z and alcohol: "No one wants to star in a viral social media video while being embarrassingly overserved." Also: More young people are willing to speak about having a genetic predisposition for an alcohol-use disorder.

What this translates to is every bev/al supplier needs to have nonalcoholic versions of their beers, wines and spirits. Why? Because younger drinkers are demanding alcohol-free beverages, including alcohol-free cocktails.

The one exception, perhaps, is craft producers. But that will leave the door open for nonalcoholic craft producers to thrive in the craft space.

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