Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Motivated by health and wellbeing, imbibing consumers look- ing to curb their alcohol intake are paving the way for innovation in an underserved, alcohol-free beverage segment. According to a study by London's International Wine and Spirits Record, 52 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed say they're trying to reduce their alcohol intake, opening opportunity for low- and no-alcohol products that currently account for only 0.5 percent of the total alcoholic beverage market in the U.S. According to IWSR's study, the largest category gainer in the low/no-alcohol sector in the U.S. is ready-to-drink beverages (38.8 percent CAGR increase from 2018 to 2022). That's followed by wine at 17.7 percent, and spirits at 7.1 percent. Low/no-alcohol beer, which currently accounts for the lion's share of the low/no-alcohol beverage market in the U.S., is predicted to grow 5.6 percent. "The broader trend that points to consumers' increased inter- est in physical and mental health is creating an interesting shift in consumer preference for low- and no-alcohol beverages, outside of soft drinks," says IWSR CEO Mark Meek. Leading the charge in mindful drinking are millennials and members of Gen Z, who are re-evaluating their alcohol intake in part based on a heightened awareness as to who might be surveilling their social media. "There is a new level of thoughtfulness as to what we put in our bodies," says Lorelei Bandrovschi, founder of Listen Bar in NYC, whose menu is entirely alcohol-free and serves high-end crafted mocktails and alcohol-free beer. Bandrovschi sources fan-favorite, alcohol-free brands like Seedlip, Kin Euphoric, Thomas Henry Slim Tonic, and Pilot Kombucha. "People are taking a longer look at category spotlight BETTER-FOR-YOU BOOZE Getting your 'drink on' may have new meaning with the alcohol-free crowd, but for those customers who want their alcohol but with a little less buzz, low ABV (alcohol by volume) and gluten-free options touted for their better-for-you ingredients, low carbs, and low calories, are in demand. According to SPINS, 'new-school' alcohol and better-for-you booze is stirring up the alcohol category with adult beverages such as hard seltzer, hard kombucha, canned wine, boozy waters, and RTD cocktails all between 4 and 7 percent ABV. Brands to look out for include Briggs Hard Seltzer that is fruit juice sweetened, Owl's Brew Boozy Tea with Botanicals, Oskar Blues Wild Basin Craft Hard Seltzer, Kyla Hard Kombucha, Social Sparkling Wine, and Joia Spirits, premium, sparkling cocktails in classic flavors like Moscow Mule and Cosmopolitan. At Lenny Boy Brewery in North Carolina, hard kombucha is an attractive option for those who want a gluten-free and lighter alcohol option. "People are going to our hard kombucha more because it has a 4.4 percent ABV and it's gluten-free," says Brewery founder Townes Mozer whose Guava kombucha draft has become a local favorite. New-school adult beverages are stirring up the category with hard seltzer, hard kombucha, boozy waters, and RTD cocktails, all with low alcohol by volume. 48 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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