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How To Curate An On-Trend Non-Alcoholic Menu

Two Drinks Showing The Non Alcoholic Movement (1)

It’s no secret that the non-alcoholic movement has gathered significant momentum in recent years. Nowhere more so than among younger generations, who are turning their backs on booze in droves due to changing social norms, the affordability of alcohol, and increased health consciousness to name but a few reasons that younger people are going alcohol-free.

However, this isn’t stopping people from heading out to their favourite pubs and restaurants to still enjoy a non-alcoholic tipple. The trend towards reduced alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages – so-called “no and low” alcohol drinks – has prompted a boom in on-trend non-alcoholic drinks and craft non-alcoholic cocktails that are helping to drive bar takings.

With a fifth of all British adults (20%) now abstaining from alcohol altogether, and nearly a third (32%) having reduced their intake over the last year, non-alcoholic beverage trends are only going one way – upwards! So, here we talk about the various benefits of curating an enticing, flavourful and inclusive non-alcoholic bar menu that your customers will love.

Why Is There A Growing Interest In The Non-alcoholic Movement?

There’s no doubt that non-alcoholic alternatives are trending right now. According to a recent Mintel report, nearly a third (32%) of Britons have limited or reduced their alcohol intake in the last 12 months, with 39% of people doing so to improve their health. With the ongoing cost of living crisis also likely to be prompting some customers to curtail their spending on alcohol, on-trend non-alcoholic drinks are increasingly filling the void.

The non-alcoholic movement is especially prevalent among young adults and millennials who are increasingly looking for unique and interesting alcohol-free drinks. According to the most recent Health Survey for England, 20% of British adults are non-drinkers, with 22% of women and 17% of men adopting a teetotal lifestyle. Those aged between 16-24 are the most likely to be non-drinkers.

Of course, social movements, such as Dry January, have also played a major part in the growing non-alcoholic movement. Nearly nine million British adults planned to take part in Dry January this year, equating to more than 10% of the population (13.4%) who were at least interested in starting the year booze-free.

Beyond the growing non-alcoholic movement, non-alcoholic alternatives have also become a trendy choice for those practising mindful drinking – the practice of being aware of why and how much alcohol you drink. As a result of these non-alcoholic beverage trends, fashionable non-alcoholic drinks – such as kombuchas, mocktails and virgin cocktails – are now popping up on menus everywhere, creating consumer demand in restaurants, bars and pubs.

What Are The Benefits Of Including Non-alcoholic Options On A Menu?

Offering non-alcoholic drinks is not only a great way to show that you’re keeping up with the latest trends, but it’s also a great way to attract more customers and boost sales; not least amongst young, upwardly mobile demographics. Providing non-alcoholic alternatives is also a great way to show that you’re an establishment that caters to everyone, regardless of their preferences, creating a more inclusive and welcoming atmosphere.

What Factors Should I Consider When Curating A Non-alcoholic Menu? 

When curating a non-alcoholic menu, there are several factors to bear in mind. Firstly, it’s worth noting the subtle difference between no and low alcohol beverages. A non-alcoholic drink can contain up to 0.5% ABV. Whereas, drinks that are 0.0% ABV guarantees that it contains no alcohol and is therefore ‘alcohol-free.’ While that might sound like a fine margin, to some customers that distinction can make a huge difference.

Higher prices for non-alcoholic alternatives can sometimes prove to be a stumbling block. However, with the trend for premiumisation holding firm, customers are increasingly willing to pay more for a quality experience. So while some customers will undoubtedly be tightening their belts during the current economic climate, others will be looking to treat themselves to affordable luxuries – including premium non-alcoholic experiences.   

How Can I Create Unique And Innovative Flavour Combinations With Non-alcoholic Drinks?

If you’re planning to create unique and innovative flavour combinations using non-alcoholic drinks, it's important to think outside the box. Try experimenting with different ingredients, like herbs, spices and fruits for an interesting and elevated flavour infusion. It’s also a good opportunity to play around with premium mixers. 

How Can I Ensure A Memorable And Enjoyable Guest Experience With Non-alcoholic Beverages?

When it comes to creating a memorable guest experience with non-alcoholic beverages, presentation is key. Be sure to create visually appealing drinks, with beautiful garnishes and interesting flavour combinations. Plus, pay particular attention to customer service. Take the time to explain your selection and offer advice on which drinks might be best suited for each customer. An inviting and comfortable ambience never goes amiss! 

What Are Some Emerging Trends And Future Developments In The Non-alcoholic Movement?

One of the major emerging trends in the non-alcoholic movement is the development of zero-proof cocktails. These are drinks that have all the flavours and aromas of a cocktail but without any alcohol content. There’s also an increasing trend towards natural and plant-based ingredients. Not to mention the emergence of “healthier” mocktails that swap sugar and syrups for cold-pressed juices or sugar alternatives instead.

By educating yourself about the growing trend of non-alcoholic drinks and incorporating them into your menu, you can create a unique and unforgettable experience for your customers. With the right ingredients, techniques and presentation, you can create menu items that are just as delicious and enjoyable as their alcoholic counterparts.

For non-alcoholic spirits, soft drinks and mixers that are a cut above, browse Matthew Clark Live. For more information, please contact us on 0844 822 3901 to talk to our experts.

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