Consumers Want More Canned Cocktails: Study

While interest remains strong for non-alcoholic alternatives, the percentage of people trying to reduce their alcohol consumption fell by 18%, to 38%, according to according to a study from Veylinx, a behavioral research platform..  This decline from 2022 could lead to lower participation in abstinence events like Dry January.

Half of respondents claimed they would drink less alcohol if better non-alcoholic alternatives were available, showing opportunity for yet more innovation in the beverage sector. Those looking to reduce their alcohol consumption are 50% more interested in non-alcoholic cocktails.

The perception that no/low alcoholic drinks have a way to go in terms of quality may explain the finding that consumer demand for non-alcohol cocktails increase 4% while demand for alcoholic canned cocktails surged 20%.

In 2022, "Never tried before," was the top reason consumers gave for not buying canned non-alcoholic beverages. That is no longer the case in 2023, suggesting that non-alcoholic canned cocktails increased their market penetration over the last year. Flavor and price are now the primary reasons people don't buy non-alcoholic cocktails.

"Even with fewer people trying to reduce their alcohol consumption, demand for non-alcoholic canned cocktails continues to grow," said Veylinx founder and CEO Anouar El Haji. "Drinkers and non-drinkers alike are receptive to ready-to-drink alternatives that are better for their health and wallets."

The study also measured demand for non-alcoholic cocktails enhanced with functional benefits like mood boosters, detoxifiers and CBD. Demand for the standard non-alcoholic version increased 14% from last year, while the enhanced variations increased only slightly and the zero-calorie version fell by 1%. This suggests consumers might be losing interest in what they perceive as marketing gimmicks. The CBD version saw a 4% increase in demand, remaining the most popular non-alcoholic variation.

Additional key findings:

  • The optimal price for non-alcoholic canned cocktails that maximizes revenue for brands is $12 for a four-pack
  • The brands consumers have tried the most are: 1) Mocktail Club, 2) Wild Tonic, 3) Spiritless, 4) DRY, and 5) Hella Cocktail Co
  • 44% of people expressed support for an additional 10% tax on alcohol as a public health measure for reducing consumption
  • For those aiming to drink less alcohol by replacing it with other beverages, energy drinks experienced the greatest increase in popularity
  • Physical Health and Cost are the two most popular reasons for reducing alcohol consumption
  • Grocery stores are the most popular place to buy non-alcoholic canned cocktails
  • Flavor options have the most influence on which brand consumers choose
  • A lower price would convince 20% of consumers to buy more non-alcoholic cocktails

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About the research

Unlike typical surveys where consumers are simply asked about their preferences, Veylinx uses behavioral research to reveal how much consumers will pay for a product through a real bidding process. Consumers reveal their true willingness to pay by placing sealed bids on products and then answering follow-up questions about their reasons to buy or not to buy. The research was conducted in November and December 2023 among U.S. consumers ages 21 and over. It is a follow-up to a similar study Veylinx conducted in October 2022. The 2022 study can be found at https://info.veylinx.com/non-alcoholic-cocktails