Sipping Ideas for the Growing “Sober Curious” Market

By Heather Mayer

 Laurie Mosco

Nowadays when they’re raising a glass, chances are, it’s not alcohol in their cup. Non-alcohol beverage sales are up 19%, outpacing alcohol sales, as consumers opt to skip the spirits Nielsen IQ reports.  While they might be cutting the alcohol, customers don’t want to skimp on flavors or ingredients. Be the toast of the town. Offer a selection of premium mocktail ingredients to shake up their non-alcoholic routine.

Mix it up with Mixers Minus the Alcohol

When it comes to mocktail mixers, the name of the game is mix and match. Even though non-alcoholic beverage sales are up, 78% of consumers purchasing non-alcoholic beverages bought alcoholic beverages too (Convenience Store News). Offering exciting premium mocktail mixers that taste great paired with alcohol makes it easy for consumers to dip their foot into the sober curious pool. 

A big appeal of the sober curious movement is the better-for-you ingredients, so juices made with simple, wholesome ingredients will go over well.  They’ll find a mocktail tequila sunrise is extra sunny when made with organic, no sugar added orange juice like Lakewood Organic Orange Juice, sweet and simple Looza Peach Nectar, and top shelf Rose’s Grenadine with its added pop of pomegranate for a bit of bold tartness and color. 

Craft cocktails often feature layers of flavors and colors. Customers who are shopping for mocktail ingredients want to replicate the fun and whimsy of beautiful designer drinks.  Expand their palates with new combinations.  An adult spin on the childhood favorite, the creamsicle,  made with a mix of premium Lakewood Organic Blood Orange Juice, family farm-sourced honey like Rulison Honey and hand cultivated Madagascar vanilla extract from Madecasse Beyond Good, will make them giddy. Bold flavors made from trending beverages like Eliya Refresh King Coconut Water with Ginger & Lime paired with the fresh squeezed Sicilian lemons in Ingrilli Organic Lemon Juice squeeze bottle creates a refreshing spin on a classic lemonade.

This is also a time to look at your traditional cocktail mixers in a new mocktail light.  Mr & Mrs T Pina Colada Mix, paired with Looza Mango Nectar with a dash of Andre Prost Unsweetened Coconut Milk for extra creaminess, brings the feelings of the tropics to their glasses.

Readymade Mocktail Options

While playing mixologist is always fun, some gatherings call for readymade mocktails. (Who wants to lug a pitcher to the beach?)  Innovations in sparkling water is gaining a lot of attention from the sober curious movement (Convenience Store News). Because these beverages come in single serve bottles and cans, they bring the party vibe virtually anywhere.

Sparkling water mimics the feeling of a crafted cocktail when it features real fruit juice like Spindrift.  Spindrift’s cocktail inspired flavors like Cucumber,  Cranberry Raspberry, or Strawberry are more flavorful than traditional seltzer and so they are sure to become their main mocktail squeeze.

Another premium sparkling water we’re loving for the sober curious is Nixie. Made with certified organic ingredients and sporting distinct blends like Moscow Mule inspired Lime Ginger, and Watermelon Mojito inspired Watermelon Mint , these waters really pop! All are 0 calories and contain 0g sugar, appealing to the calorie-conscious side of the sober curious community.

We are also noticing that packaging has the ability to elevate alcohol-free beverages to mocktail worthiness; like the champagne-style bottle of Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider.  Complete with metallic wrapper around the cap, this sparkling cider made from 100% US grown apples turns any day into a special occasion when presented on ice. We also love the elegant wine-inspired bottle of Belvoir Cordials. Belvoir Ginger Beer and Elderflower Rose, feature labels full of colors and floral themes, so they look great packed in a picnic basket or on the drink table.

Non-alcohol and low-alcohol sales totaled $3.3 billion in 2021 (Nielsen IQ).  Tap into the potential by offering readymade mocktails and mocktail mixers.

Curious about Our Sober Curious Beverage Selection?

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