19 June 2018

Alcoholic Beverages in the Digital Age


Drinking Alcohol with friends.jpg
Alcohol has always been an important part of social life. Be it an office party, or weekend clubbing or just a dinner with a friend. We have always considered having alcohol in social conventions as a form of pleasure and relaxation. But with the changing perspective of newcomers in the social gameplay, it is essential for beverage industries to consider bringing changes in their product to thrive in the essentials business.
More and more people are adopting a healthy lifestyle and prefer to be nonalcoholic or choose alternative pleasures. This trend raises many questions such as will this trend increase in the future resulting in the dissolving of alcohol consumption or it is a temporary change as due to lifestyle.

 New forms of indulgence:
In the future, our after office parties and weekend drinks might take new shapes. Happy hour might be more like sitting on the terrace sipping a functional mocktail instead of a conventional glass of wine, or alcohol-induced weekends might be spent in weed lounges.
Today, more than ever, people are looking for new ways to combine pleasure with a rising health concern. Brands will be challenged to facilitate consumers with a wider range of non-alcoholic options tapping into a healthy lifestyle. In several London based restaurants and bars, such as Stovell’s and Peg + Patriot, bartenders collaborate with scientists to find a way to remove the alcohol from popular drinks (e.g. Campari, Aperol, and gin) while retaining the flavor. In the retail environment, brands like Arkay, Seedlip, Whissin, and Ronsin that offer non-alcoholic spirits are becoming increasingly popular, and the sales of alcohol-free beer category are growing. In the future, the alcohol-free drinks may become even more sophisticated and partially replace alcoholic options.
The legalization of marijuana raises many questions about the impact on alcohol industries, including alcohol. Are marijuana and alcohol substitutes or complements? weed legalization has led to a sharp decrease in alcohol consumption in some states. Several alcohol companies have even openly opposed marijuana legalization initiatives.  

Kava bars are one more alternative way of intoxication that might partially replace alcohol. Kava is a sedative used to relieve anxiety and relax the muscles, which, unlike alcohol, doesn’t interfere with cognitive abilities or cause hangover. Kava drinks allow having same pleasure as of alcohol leaving the post effects of it.

Current trends in alcohol consumption
current trends in alcohol companies.jpg

A number of positive trends showing a decline in problematic alcohol consumption, especially among the youth, have emerged in the UK over the last decade. The proportion of binge drinkers at the age of 16-24 has decreased from 29% to 18%, and the proportion of young teetotalers increased by 40% in 2005-2013. Most young people don’t think that alcohol is an important part of their social life and claim that for them alcohol plays a smaller role than for their parents. Also, 21% of adults don’t drink alcohol at all compared to 19% in 2005. However, the study has been criticised by experts for failing to show an ethnic or religious breakdown of respondents. Similar tendencies are observed in Sweden. In 2015, alcohol consumption dropped by about 4% with a notable decline among young Swedes.
In Australia, generational shift has happened in alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption among 12-17 has dropped with 72% completely abstaining. Among 18 to 39-year-olds, risky drinking has continued to drop in the last decade. Conversely, the opposite is true for the 40+ group where alcohol consumption has been gradually increasing. In this light, a debate has recently opened in Australia as the Royal Australasian College of Physicians is pushing for a tough crackdown on alcohol laws in a bid to change drinking culture. Though legislation along might be not enough to change the situation, admitting and discussing a problem is the first step to fixing it.
In the US, the alcohol consumption has been relatively stable since 1940’s, while binge drinking has increased at the national level, influenced mainly by higher rates of drinking among women. Though some teetotal initiatives emerge there occasionally, at the country level they hardly constitute a trend.

Drivers of  this change

Despite its growing popularity, abstinence is still a counterculture niche phenomenon, which nevertheless is likely to hit the mainstream someday. Various theories attempt to explain the declining popularity of alcohol, including the increase in descendants from Muslim and other non-imbibing backgrounds, a rebellious reaction to the overindulgence of the previous generation, decrease in disposable income, the liberalization of marijuana as a new recreational drug and gaming culture. However, according to the Demos think-tank’s report, health is the most common reason for alcohol abstention among Millennials. They are also less likely to smoke and constantly thrive towards physical and mental self-improvement.

Many young adults claim that they are less able to afford alcohol and nights out than 10 years ago and that it becomes increasingly difficult to get alcohol under-age. The alcohol companies seek to solve the problem of decreasing consumption using “premiumization” strategy, thus forming a closed financial circle.

“Cyber shame” is also a frequent reason for young adults to abstain from alcohol or at least avoid binge drinking. Young people like tagging photos of their friends drunk, but are concerned about being tagged themselves. To tackle this problem, the alcohol industry is trying to blur the lines between drinking culture and sporting culture using social media for advertising targeting Millennials.

The future comes today
Though alcohol is a still a big part of our lives, it is being substituted. people around the world seem to increasingly prefer sober lifestyle or look for less harmful alternatives. 

Adopting to the wellness lifestyle

In the world of where wellness has become a new ideal .Alcohol consumption may seem to be destined to sidelined. But what if spirit brands explored the new benefits in order to seduce health conscious consumers? This growing demand for products with wellness benefits seems to have brought to life new offers on market such as JMB Beverages non-alcoholic wines, a success in Australia or Celia Organic Craft Czech Lager that is brewed specifically to be gluten free and vegan friendly.
These are examples bringing light to a new way of consuming alcohol, which might can take away the guilt from pleasure.