Brand Watch’s latest Food and Beverage Trends Report has revealed the mocktails that are dominating social media.
Brand Watch analysed more than 165 million global online conversations to explore current trends and consumer eating and drinking habits.
The report notes that younger generations are drinking less alcohol for a number of reasons, including health concerns, to save money, and a shift in perception that people don’t need to rely on alcohol to have fun at a party.
According to Nielsen UK, alcohol sales in the UK fell by 9% in 2022 compared to 2021, and sales of non-alcoholic or low-alcohol drinks rose by 3%.
“Especially in Western countries, a good chunk of Generation Z is transitioning to sobriety, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon,” Brand Watch said.
“More and more celebrities are expanding their beverage brands to include non-alcoholic alternatives such as energy drinks and mocktails.”
The number of people talking about mocktails online increased by 14% from June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023 compared to the previous 12 months.
The most popular days for drinking mocktails are Fridays. On average, online conversations about mocktails occur most frequently on this day of the week.
The three most popular mocktail versions of classic cocktails are:
- Mojitos, with 3.6k mentions
- Margaritas, with – 2.5k mentions
- Martinis, with 1.6k mentions
“Overall, the conversations are overwhelmingly positive. 74% of mentions categorized by sentiment are positive,” Brand Watch said.
“In those conversations, consumers talk about drinking mocktails at restaurants or parties as part of their vegan diet, they praise the taste, and some praise having more non-alcoholic options to choose from events and restaurants.
“In the negative conversations, consumers fittingly criticize the limited options for non-alcoholic cocktails or they are displeased with the taste. Other consumers complain about the price tag of mocktails being almost as high as regular cocktails. This represents an opportunity for beverage brands to offer a greater variety of mocktails at reasonable prices to attract sober consumers.”
In terms of regional differences, the mocktail conversations increased in all regions analysed except in the UK and APAC region. Here, online conversations and the number of people talking about the topic decreased. However, APAC and the UK are the regions that talk most positively about mocktails (83% and 82% of mentions, respectively, are positive mentions). In comparison, Spain and the US are the least positive about non-alcoholic beverages (65% and 69% of mentions are positive).
Among the moves signalling mocktails have made it as “it” drinks, music festival Coachella now features The New Bar (above), a non-alcoholic full bar set up stocked with a curated selection of desert-inspired craft cocktails, wine, beer and canned functional drinks.