Now onto Beverage Trends

In previous blog posts, we hit on some of the up and coming food trends like lactose free and plant based item. Now let’s switch gears into the beverage game.

The new age of the Mocktail

Believe it or not, I am not pertaining to alcohol. Let’s talk about a hot new trend that doesn’t involve alcohol, aka the ”sober-curious movement.” There are many reasons why someone chooses not to drink alcohol and when dining out, having choices other than water or soda creates a better guest experience.  “One of the biggest disruptors on the bar side is the rise of spirit-free and low-alcohol cocktails, Dana Pellicano, VP Food + Beverage, Global Operations for Marriott International, told Restaurant Business. “People are eager to socialize again but are looking for ways to join the fun without overdoing it.” Post covid, many consumers are looking to drink less and care more about what is going into their bodies. Lucky for us that alternatives are easier to find now than ever before!

When you think of non-alcoholic the word mocktail may come to mind. Traditional “mocktails” are usually super sugary and almost kid like.  That’s sort of the opposite direction that this trend is heading. Whether in a restaurant or in a store, consumers are craving some flavor or something better than water. Mixologists are working to create cocktails without alcohol but WITH flavor and excitement. Items like these are at an all time high.  This is pertaining to not only mixed cocktails, but in alcohol removed wine. Kara Nielsen, the director of food and drink at WGSN says alcohol-removed wine and canned mocktails are printed to be big. “Especially in summer 2022, canned mocktails are going to be huge.” Celebrities such as Bella Hadid of Kin Euphorics and Blake Lively with Betty Buzz are behind this trend among others.

A new type of infusion

Another type of spirit gaining traction are those infused with hemp. Now that cannabis is becoming more available and socially accepted, more customers are open to trying to alcohol alternatives or replacements without a hangover. Aplos, founded in 2020, is a non-alcoholic spirit infused with broad-spectrum hemp is said to “Calm and uplift” without the negative effects of alcohol. Another brand Jeng replicates classic cocktails like a paloma, gin & tonic or a Moscow mule. These have 11mg of CBD making them approachable for the sober AND cbd curious. “We intentionally formulated jeng to have a “sessionable” amount of CBD to make it enticing, not intimidating,” said Enghauser. “It’s the perfect amount for someone who may never have heard of CBD but is eager to try it.”

And last but not least, the functional beverage. No one can say that any alcoholic drink is healthy BUT some may have some functional benefits such as hard kombucha or botanical spirits. These have an active probiotic components and use these natural flavors in lieu of sugars and syrups. They may not be able to have a laundry list of benefits but hey, one is better than none!

Curious to see the outcome and to try some of these as well!