2019: A year for the iPhone 11, Brexit, Bike Shorts, Blazers, Nail Art, Veganism and… Non-Alcoholic Spirits. That’s right, you read correctly, new research has found that UK drinking culture is making a shift and starting to say so-long sauvignon and hello to alcohol-free spirit-based mocktails like a Feragaia Old Fashioned. But why?

In previous years, no one bat an eyelid when the team left work on time to enjoy a tipple at the local watering hole together. In fact, it was encouraged to nurture team bonding over memories of, ‘do you remember when…’. However, now more than ever, it seems that alcohol just doesn’t have the same appeal. Especially when you wake up on the morning of a big meeting with your boss, feeling like you’ve slept at the bus stop. It’s all well and good popping out for a wine (or two) after work, but it rarely stops there. Once you’re out, you’re out. A quick drink with colleagues inevitably means half a dozen complimentary cocktails at a product launch event around the corner with your colleague’s mate Dave, and a Wednesday hangover… Happy Hump Day indeed. So the thought of a spirit that has all the flavour, body and taste, but without the unwanted headache sounds very appealing.

This year, the UK has launched over 271 new premium soft drink products into bars and supermarkets and seen an increase in online searches for the phrase “non-alcoholic” by 81% according to Google Trends. The UK has also seen growth with Independent brands entering the market for the first time, gaining attention from big retailers in a space that was once dominated by corporate giants. It’s an exciting moment for smaller brands to take the lead with their USPs, as they focus on wider conversations around sustainability, flavour development and considered design topics, that larger brands are not agile enough to do. It’s this gear shift that has given smaller brands an opportunity to strategically position themselves in the market, attracting a loyal follower base from the outset, as well as being able to achieve continual, sustainable growth.

But it’s not just a desire to avoid hangovers, and choosing to live a more sustainable lifestyle; there are many reasons why we might be looking for an alternative to alcohol. Pregnancy, trying to save our cash a little more, losing weight, the list goes on and on. It all points to upwards growth in an alcohol free-trend that will not dwindle off anytime soon!