As Sober October trends for the third year in a row, non-alcoholic drink brands are fine-tuning their messaging around the annual “Go Sober” campaign. While some folks raise a toast to the commencement of the holiday season with their favorite cocktail, many Americans are switching to delicious mocktails from some of their favorite drink brands.

Following the “Dry January” trend, “Sober October” has become increasingly popular over the years, with influencers like Joe Rogan and his comedic comrades actively participating and documenting his journey to cut back from the month’s booze.

A growing selection of non-alcoholic beer, wine and spirits has made it easier for those looking to abstain from alcohol for a month – or any period of time.

According to The Drum, “Off-premise sales of non-alcoholic beers are projected to hit $361 million this year almost double that of 2019 pre-pandemic levels when sales peaked at $193 million, per Beverage Marketing Corp.

Ritual Zero Proof co-founder Marcus Sakey said that the alcohol-free category has been growing consistently in the last three years, revealing that since its sale to Diageo, Ritual has seen a 100 percent retail sale growth year after year.

Image: Ritual Website

“What these media moments do is really put it back in front of people,” Sakey said of month-long no drinking challenges. “In the first three days we’re already up 35 percent over last week, so it’s clearly resonating.”

Gruvi – a non-alcoholic wine and beer maker co-founded by Niki Sawni – sells in over 5,000 retail locations, with off-premise shops representing 70 percent of its business. “Most of our DTC customers have given up alcohol altogether and already buy cases throughout the year,” he said. “So, they’re not necessarily hit by Sober October campaigns.”

Image: Gruvi website
Image: Gruvi website

“With the amount of information that is always available around us, people have become more health conscious and want to have more informed decisions on what they are putting into their body,” said Maria Meza Martinez, registered dietitian with Florida-based not-for-profit Orlando Health. “For that reason, I believe Sober October and similar challenges have gained so much popularity because people will want to question and gain the knowledge on…the benefits of eliminating alcohol even for just 31 days, such as better sleep, improved immune function, and reducing the risk of some cancers.”

“The adult non-alc segment has exploded in the past few years and is forecasted to continue on a trajectory of meteoric growth,” Mariah Hilton Wood, co-founder of non-alcoholic beverage maker Tilden Cocktails told USA Today. “With nearly three quarters of millennials cutting back on alcohol and more than 40 percent of Gen Z skipping it completely, both retailers and consumers want options to suit a variety of occasions.”

Molly Kimball, a registered dietician with the Ochsner Health System in New Orleans shares her advice to those looking to take on the challenge.

“It’s really interesting the benefits and experiences people have, and it can be very different year to year,” she said. “The more you can string together normal experiences, football games, parties, the more you realize you don’t have to have alcohol connected to them.”

SOBER OCTOBER: The Best Alcohol Alternatives Put to the Test

Some users posting as part of Sober October:

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