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What’s Your Designated Driver Drinking? Probably Something Good

“We’ve noticed the non-drinker has evolved,” said award-winning bartender and founder of London’s Dandylyan said in a recent article in Forbes. “It means you have people not drinking for a multitude of reasons, but they still want to socialize.”

This is a statement on the non-alcoholic or low-alcohol beverage trend that is gaining in popularity both at home and abroad. Consumers who choose not to imbibe have more than just the basic teetotaling options of decades past, and operators who understand this and are willing to step out of their comfort zones stand to attract a new type of customer.

The reason is simple.

According to studies, the non-alcoholic beverage market is predicted to grow by nearly six percent over the next 10 years, and when you factor out retail sales, the trends in bars and restaurants look even stronger.

Consider some of the N/A basics.

First of all, coffee consumption has continued to rise over the years, particularly the segment of specialty coffee. Operations that offer cold brew or nitro coffee options have a distinct advantage in profit potential solely because more and more of the population searches for these types of beverages.

Another popular trend is the concept of the “mocktail.” The days of non-drinkers or designated drivers ordering club soda or Cokes are becoming less frequent as other, more interesting options are available. In many cases, cocktails like virgin mojitos are even marketed toward pregnant women to give them an enjoyable experience without the booze.

Newer types of N/A options are also spreading across the country. As kombucha gains in popularity, it’s fizzy and full flavor profiles — as well as its potential health benefits — have made it popular as a substitute for beer or overly-sweet beverages like soda.

Finally, we have even newer innovations. One of the biggest market disrupters in decades is a new spirit called Seedlip. This non-alcoholic spirit behaves like a spirit in the class, offering complexities and balance that many have compared to gin. It comes in a Garden and Spice variety, and it has been hard to keep on the shelves in many locations.

No matter what type of non-alcoholic options you serve, storage and dispensing can make it easier and more profitable. From back bar refrigeration to hold bottles of kombucha to nitro tap systems for mocktails and nitro coffee, check out our full range of beverage solutions in the latest Bar & Beverage Guide from Perlick.

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