Drinks Without The Booze

As more customers limit alcohol intake, mocktails and alternative drinks are having a moment

The Guardian's Kate Hawkins points out that alcohol consumption, especially in younger age groups, has fallen steeply. In the UK, the number of drinkers fell 26% between 2002 and 2012. Moreover, the number of young between 16-25 that drinks little or not at all has risen by 40% in that same decade.

The trend isn't limited to the UK. Data from the Washington Post show that a full 70% of Americans aren't really "commercially-viable" drinkers.

That 70th percentile consumes a miserly 2.17 drinks a week. Put another way, 75% of alcohol consumed each week is sipped by the top 10% of adults. If your restaurant has an average clientele of, say, 500 people only 150 of them seem likely to order beer, cocktails or wine.

Flipping that equation over, it's long-understood that soft drinks have some of the fattest margins of any food item. Are there ways to turn your teetotaler patrons into paying drinkers?

Examining The Options

The Guardian article goes on to examine several smart non-alcoholic options, including varieties of beer, wine and related. It's worth a look. However, the NY Post did a real-world piece on a selection of similar drinks, to decidedly mixed results. But, spoiler-alert, the final choice did come off quite well:

The New York Times did a small survey of Mocktails last year. While even Starbucks has gotten in the act - with some interesting ingredients to boot (like barrel-aged maple syrup!).

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