The Sober Curious

Charlotte Hurd


Japan is facing an unusual problem – it's teens are teetotal, and the government isn't happy. The reason: the sharpest fall in the country’s sin tax revenue for 31 years.

The government blame the pandemic, changing lifestyles and the ageing population for this switch to sober and have launched a national campaign called ‘The Sake Viva!’ to gather fresh ideas to stimulate alcohol demand amongst Gen Z.

And it isn’t just the youth of Japan cutting back on drinking – alcohol habits are changing from generation to generation.

...To counteract this new rise alcohol brands are responding with no and low-alcohol alternatives.

Sainsbury’s for example recently opened an alcohol-free pub – The Clean Vic – serving no and low alcohol beers such as Lucky Saint and Celtic Soul. Visitors to the pop up could also attend a mixology class with the founder of the Sober Girl Society.

Corona is also taking aim at the growing market for low-to-no alcohol beverages, with its Corona Sunbrew, which debuted in 2022. 

 'Buzz-less spirits' are listed as one of Whole Foods' top 10 food trends for 2022: "The dialed-down spirits category experienced record growth in our stores this year. With millennials and Gen Z-ers dabbling in 'drysolation' during the pandemic, we don’t see the sober-curious mindset going away anytime soon."  

In that increasingly competitive field, Corona sets Sunbrew apart by adding vitamin D, appealing to the overlap between mindful drinkers and health-focused consumers. 

TOO Takeaways

This move to a more sober lifestyle coincides with consumers approaching their health and wellness in a more holistic way. Consider how can you help people to look after themselves a little bit better.

Key to this is having an awareness of your consumer needs and changes to their overall lifestyle. Monitor changes in behaviour and amend yours in accordance.

Think future and not fad - make sure your marketing and branding gives customers the respect and empathy they deserve.

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