While there are many reasons not to drink alcohol, whether for a night out or for a lifetime, one thing is certain: taste should never be sacrificed. Producers have realized this and in recent years a wide range of non-alcoholic wines offer (non-) drinkers a wide range of options. Now there are crisp, dry Rieslings made by legendary Alsatian producers, crunchy zweigelts, sweet champagne-style bubbles and aperitif-style vermouths, all alcohol-free.
Recently, New Zealand-based Giesen reported a phenomenal 454% growth in shipments to the United States in fiscal year 2022. This strong performance highlights growing consumer demand for quality dealcoholized wines.
Giesen’s 0% wines are dealcoholized via a rotating cone unit that gently distills the wine into three layers: aroma, body and alcohol, removing the latter in the process. Currently they offer a very popular Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Red Blend and Pinot Grigio. A Riesling will follow in the fall of 2022.
Sauvignon Blanc is the top-selling premium wine (priced over $12) in the United States, according to NielsenIQ. President Mark Giordano of Giesen group importer Pacific Highway Wines notes that “Giesen 0% Rosé is the best-selling non-alcoholic rosé (Nielsen, 4 weeks ending 6/30/22). We expect a rapid pace and exciting success with the rest of the line expanding in the coming months.
Late last year, NielsenIQ Senior Vice President of Account Development Kim Cox noted that there had been a 315% increase in online sales of non-alcoholic and low-carb beverages. alcohol in the last 12 months, compared to a 26% increase in sales of beer, wine and alcoholic spirits. commercial sales. Figures for today (week ending 06/30/2022) indicate that sales of non-alcoholic wines have increased by 22% over the past 52 weeks.
Online beverage marketplace Drizly reported that the weekend of July 4, 2022 saw almost twice as many non-alcoholic wine and beer sales compared to 2021.
What is the draw? Not a determined turn towards sobriety, but a change of mentality. For centuries, the phrase “I don’t drink alcohol” was a definitive code for sobriety, pregnancy, or designated conduct. Now the choice is more conscious. Maybe you have to get up early, maybe you just don’t feel like it, maybe you pace yourself – a second of sobriety doesn’t require a reason.
The category will only grow. A recent Hinge survey of Gen Z users found that 75% of users said having drinks was no longer their choice on a first date. Gen Z singles are 46% more likely to prefer first dates without drinking compared to millennials before them. Gen Z aside, more than half of Hinge users preferred non-alcoholic dates — “they want to be in the right frame of mind while getting to know their potential partner.”
Nielsen found that 66% of millennials are actively working to reduce their alcohol consumption, and 78% of non-alcoholic drinkers buy beer, wine or alcoholic spirits.
Part of the category’s growth is fueled by new diversity. Until a few years ago, the number of non-alcoholic SKUs was relatively limited, limited to a few non-alcoholic beers and a few non-alcoholic wine brands. Today, there are dozens of brands offering over a hundred different options. (Particular favorites include Leitz, Acid League, Blurred Vines and Studio Null, in addition to Giesen.) Likewise, non-alcoholic bottle shops have become hotspots for non-alcs — there’s Sipple in Houston, Awake in Denver and The Open Road in Pittsburgh. Boisson’s has five different locations in New York and one in Los Angeles.
“This is an opportunity to show consumers that craft and premium dealcoholized wines are available in many styles,” says Duncan Shouler, Giesen Group Chief Winemaker.