THE FUTURE OF ALCOHOL,
OR NEW ROLE?
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:
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.
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
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.