It’s been called a ‘sober revolution.’ Younger people are paying more attention to their health, and consuming much less alcohol. Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, are driving this trend and disrupting a powerful industry, the alcoholic beverage market.
CGTN’s Nitza Soledad Perez reports.
Some millennials are going completely dry, like Rachael Brady who shares her journey on Instagram,”“So when I quit drinking my mental health improved tenfold and that’s not a coincidence.”
Others are simply drinking less. “I live a very active lifestyle and I still believe that you should enjoy pleasures in life, you should enjoy the fun, but you also have to be conscious about what can come later. So I prefer having lower level of alcohol in my body, but still enjoy what I like to do,” says Sofia de Flammineis, a Miami millennial.
The hashtag behind the movement is ‘Sober Curious.’ (#sobercurious) The trend among alcohol drinkers, especially millennials, is in placing more attention on health, flavor and nutrition, than getting drunk. T
hen there’s also the worry about unflattering drunk pictures winding up online, discovered by colleagues and employers.
A Bank of America Merrill Lynch poll of millennials in the U.S. and U.K. found a third of them said they had cut back on drinking last year. And they said they’d cut out beer most of all. That lines up with market findings, showing U.S. beer sales by volume dropped one percent last year, the fifth consecutive decline in American beer consumption.
Beer maker Heineken is betting on a zero alcohol product with an aggressive TV and internet ad campaign, pointing to an industry undergoing a serious and forced makeover.
Gino Santos is President and Co-founder of Premium Blend Cocktails, specializing in low alcohol spirits, “People don’t want that 80 proof tequila, so we had to improve our packaging, we had to improve our formulas, we had to create new products and one thing we proud ourselves in is that whatever is happening in the high spirit world, whatever it’s happening the fancy new cocktail, the new 7 whiskey that is out there, we created a version of it low alcohol.”
Their best seller is a 24% alcohol-by-volume agave wine, a low alcohol version of tequila. For this national distributor, the new model has worked. Sales are up 30% and profits, 52% — making this past year its best ever, proving there can be a profitable intersection — where the alcohol industry – and the wellness movement – meet up.