'How Dry I Am': New Theme Song For Younger Cohorts

Gen Z and millennial consumers are embracing conscientious drinking as older folks—particularly women—gravitate toward non-alcoholic “spirits.”

Conscientious drinking can take the form of “dry dates” and drinking low-alcohol beverage brands that communicate some kind of health benefit, according to data from market research firm Reach 3 Insights.

Those findings are based on a nationally representative survey of 1,000 adults ages 21-39 who consume alcohol—500 of them Gen Z-ers and 500 millennials.

“They’re being more mindful of what they drink,” Reach3 senior vice president Jon Dore says of younger generations.

Nearly half (48%) of Gen Z respondents and 37% of millennials indicated they had been on an alcohol-free date or would consider doing so.



One of the motivations is “Having more authentic experiences and not relying on alcohol to break the nerves or the ice if you will,” says Dore. “It opens up a new world instead of just sitting down and drinking or eating and drinking.”

Just because a beverage contains alcohol doesn’t mean it can’t be “healthy” in some respect.

“Typically, those two things fly in the face of each other—alcohol and health—but to the degree that it’s possible there are some health benefits, that’s something they’re reaching for.”

One example Dore cites is Vizzy, which is positioned as the first hard seltzer with antioxidant vitamin C.

“For a large percentage of people who reach for those products, it’s actually a very recent thing,” with 62% Gen Z and 73% of Millennials who chose such products having started this year.

When consumer insights provider Helixa studied consumer engagement on Twitter with several alcohol-free spirits brands, it found that the user base is ages 50-69 and skews female overall.

Engagement on Twitter “could be anything from a comment, a follow, a mention or share,” says Helixa vice president of marketing Laia Pescetto.

“We’re looking at how all of this behavior and engagement create a persona” that can inform such brand marketing tactics as audience targeting and choosing the most appropriate influencers.

A key metric is brand engagement on Twitter.

“It’s not that you followed an account one time. It’s that you had constant engagement,” says Pescetto.

And here are topline segmentation insights for three leading alcohol-free spirits brands based on Helixa’s research.

Curious Elixirs: The audience skews female and ages 50-69 and identifies as money savers, “accessories addicted” and cosmetics connoisseurs. Top influence genres are photographers, chefs and those in motor sports.

Arkay Zero Proof: Audience skew is female and ages 45-69 who identify as money savers, accessories addicted and health conscious. Top influencer genres are photographers, chefs and motor-sports related.

Seedlip: The audience skews male and is 45-69 years old. They identify as art appreciators, beauty & wellness aware and “well-informed newies.” Top influencer genres include classical musicians, investment influencers and chefs.

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