Going out to get a drink with friends is one of the oldest ways people socialize. It dates back to the time when we first discovered the wonderful world of alcohol. Yet, there is something interesting unfolding regarding how we see this tradition.
This is attested to by the slow but steady global decline in alcohol sales. For instance, beer, one of the ever-popular drinks around, is steadily losing its appeal to the younger generation. Slowly taking its place are alternatives like non alcoholic beer, mocktails, and nolo drinks as global drinking trends start to shift.
This is where the sober curious movement comes in – a product of our evolving perspective on drinking and our deepening understanding of fitness and wellness. Millennials and younger generations are now drinking not to fuel self-destructive tendencies. Rather it often serves as a means to bond with their friends. Sober curious lets you do that healthily and safely.
Sober curious is certainly a new term that is unfamiliar to many. Yet, it is steadily gaining a following in certain regions in Europe and the UK. It is even gaining ground in the United States. So, be sure to keep reading to find out what it is all about.
What is sober curious?
Before anything else, we need to start with the most basic question: what is sober curious? Put simply, being part of the sober curious movement entails a bit of introspection on your part. It requires you to question your relationship with alcohol and everything that comes with it.
More than an individualist trend, the sober curious movement asks everyone to look at how we, as a society, value and consume alcohol. After all, there is no denying the widespread negative impacts that excessive alcohol consumption has wrought throughout the world.
Instead, becoming sober curious means stepping up and seriously reflecting on how to live a different kind of life. Put simply, it means being curious about living sober. It asks you to enjoy all the rewards that come with this lifestyle as you overcome the challenges that come with it.
Needless to say, the only way you can do any of these to stop drinking alcohol altogether. However, this doesn’t mean that you can no longer get a drink. Specifically, it just means drinking a non-alcoholic beverage.
What are non alcoholic drinks? Difference between UK and USA
As the term suggests, non alcoholic drinks serve as the optimal alternative to your nightly bottle of beer. Yet, for the sake of clarity, we must take a closer look at the specific definition of these non alcoholic drinks. After all, there are subtle differences between the US and UK, so best take note.
- American Definition – In the US, non alcoholic beverages must contain less than 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV). Needless to say, non alcoholic beer and the like can be legally sold to people under 21 in most states because of its incredibly low alcohol content.
- UK Definition – Unlike their American counterpart, UK government protocols have more nuanced guidelines and definitions when it comes to these alcohol substitute drinks. For instance, the terms alcohol-free and Dealcoholized refer to different categories of beverages. The former should not have more than 0.05% ABV while the latter pertains to drinks with over 0.05% but less than 0.5% ABV. There are also drinks classified as low-alcohol which contain have an ABV of 1.2% at most.
Needless to say, you had best take note of these definitions so that you won’t confuse one for another. After all, if you are planning on taking the step towards a healthier and sober lifestyle, then it would be great if you knew which drinks you should have and which you shouldn’t.
What is the trend in non alcoholic drinks globally?
Parallel to the rise of the sober curious movement is the increasing influence of the nolo movement. Developing primarily from the UK, it advocates the shift to nolo drinks (no and low alcohol). With such a huge trend in the UK and a simultaneous shift happening in the US, it is only a matter of time before companies start shifting their efforts and start manufacturing products catering to this market.
In fact, the process has already started. Top brands including Guinness, Molson Coors, Diageo, Peroni, AB InBev, Heineken, and Libera have started putting out products catering to this niche. At the same time, the hospitality industry is taking notice with bars and restaurants readily expanding their non-alcoholic beverage options.
Market shares should tell you as much. Some figures estimate that the category of Low and No Alcohol drinks have a market value of at least $18 billion. That is nearly twice as valuable as the cannabis industry and it is growing twice as fast annually at 30%. To give you a better idea, in the UK, nolo drinks have recorded a 418% growth in 2019 alone.
It is also worth mentioning that this trend is bigger and more popular than you might think. Contrary to being a niche for hipsters who like no alcohol beer, this movement makes up a large part of the population. For instance, it is estimated that 30% of Americans don’t drink alcohol. On top of this, another 30% are occasional drinkers.
Needless to say, the global trends in non alcoholic drinks would tell you that there is a demand for this sort of product. This is because more and more people are coming to terms with the fact that you don’t need to have alcohol to have a great time.
Who is leading the sober curious movement?
Now, you may be wondering, who exactly is at the forefront of this movement? After all, there must be some kind of organized group pushing some kind of agenda, right? To answer that question, the renowned family and addictions therapist Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, Ph.D. has an answer: millennials.
The movement itself stems from a generational trend. As we delve deeper, it only becomes more apparent as to why that would be the case. After all, we are talking about the generation that has seen first-hand how the world entered perhaps one of the most problematic segments of our history.
Why sober curious movement?
At first glance, it would be incredibly tempting to dismiss the sober curious movement as a fad. After all, there has been a notable uptick in wellness-focused consumer trends all over the world. It only makes sense for this to be nothing more than a consequence of that which will fall out of fashion in a matter of years.
Yet, the millennials who are at the forefront of this movement would beg to differ. If there is one thing we can say about this current generation, it is that they are incredibly determined and progressive. The sober curious movement serves as a step in the right direction.
Ask most millennials and they would tell you how they have seen upfront the dangers of prevalent risks that come with alcohol. It can easily serve as the gateway to more insidious and dangerous habits like drugs. At the same time, alcohol can serve as the fuel to the fire as it actively exacerbates preexisting mental health conditions.
Worse, often the problem of alcohol is framed as a solution to many of our woes. Instead of working things out with their family, Millennials have borne witness to their loved ones finding themselves struggling not to drown as they dive deep into the bottle.
These are the realities we have the millennials have had to live through. Aside from the profound impact that alcohol has had on families during the last few decades, its social costs have also become quite hard to ignore.
With that, a lot of the younger people, Millennials included are looking to set things right, or at least, do things differently. The appeal of going on a bender or an all-nighter has simply become lost to this generation because they know what happens the morning after.
After all, the evidence and the facts regarding alcohol consumption are there for everyone to see. The same can be said about the benefits of living a happy and sober life. While it may seem like a challenging prospect to some, the sober curious movement offers you the chance to experience a more fulfilling life.
Of course, any major lifestyle change will take time. If you are a lifelong drinker, then we understand your reservations. However, as the adage goes, all journeys start with the first step. So, like with everything else in life, you need to decide whether you want to start living healthy or not.
That said, it would also be great if you had the right kind of support system in place to ensure that you get through it. Luckily, you won’t be going through it alone. As stated earlier, a lot of people prefer nolo drinks.
So, make the change and become sober curious today. With that, you can view our comprehensive selection of non alcoholic beer and non alcoholic spirits on our website here. We guarantee that you will find something that fits your taste.