Gen Z Embraces Alcohol Free Christmas, according to Musgrave MarketPlace report

Gen Z Embraces Alcohol Free Christmas, according to Musgrave MarketPlace report

Musgrave MarketPlace reports post pandemic surge in sales of low and non-alcoholic drinks category.

  • Sales in the low and non-alcohol category grew by 141% vs 2021
  • 18 – 24-year-olds turn to Alcohol-Free options as they try to drink less
  • Over half of over 55s won’t consider alcohol free drink option
  • Zero alcohol beer and mocktails are the most popular alcohol-free options

Cold turkey is not just for St. Stephen’s Day it seems, as research announced today reveals that Irish Gen Zs are more likely to partake in an Alcohol-Free Christmas.

The research commissioned by Musgrave MarketPlace, shows that the younger generation is leading the way when it comes to growth of the Zero Alcohol category, choosing alcohol substitutes to get into the party spirit rather than an all or nothing approach to Christmas festivities.

While almost a third of the whole nation agreed a zero-alcohol option is a good way of feeling involved when driving on a night out, it’s only the 18–24-year-olds who are actively trying to drink less when reaching for a Zero Alcohol drink, with 30% doing so for health reasons or to avoid ending up hungover.

Zero alcohol

Zero alcohol beer and mocktails are the most popular beverages across the nation, with 18–34-year-olds opting for the fruity, easy to drink mocktails, which still let them feel a sense of celebration and get their party on.

Conversely the research showed that a quarter of all Irish adults still can’t see any occasion where they would opt for the Alcohol-Free option, with 56.5% of over 55s in particular claiming they wouldn’t drink an alcohol-free beverage.

This was also the age group that felt the least confident to do so in the company of others who were taking alcohol. The 35-44 age group said they would feel the most confident to go alcohol free on a night out but interestingly their intentions to do so this Christmas didn’t mirror this confidence.

Variations by county

When broken down by geography, Longfordians felt the least confident to skip the alcohol, even if it meant a hangover free day.

While Leitrim natives favour 0% beer, counties Roscommon, Cavan and Louth favour Zero Cider.

In Monaghan, Westmeath, Sligo and Offaly, No Secco, was the non-alcoholic beverage of choice while Clare residents opted for Seedlip, the aromatic botanical mix that mimics the taste of Gin.

Ken Allan, Head of Beverage at Musgrave MarketPlace said “The Irish market has seen significant growth of 11.2% in the Low & No Lager category this year, generating €22.4m in sales to September this year according to CGA figures. Incredibly, our growth figure vastly outperforms the market, with the low and no alcohol category growing by 141% year to date. This is due to on-trade trends like consumers switching to non-alcohol options due to health reasons as well as the introduction of several draught options in the category.

“Our research today shows Gen Z are really leading the way in terms of the Zero Alcohol category with an appetite for tasty premium Alcohol-Free options that still allow them to feel like they’re celebrating and enjoying a special moment, or just letting their hair down albeit in a non-traditional way.

“We know this generation to be un-afraid of treating themselves with premium purchases but who also look after their bodies and minds with healthier options be that food, drink and mental and physical wellbeing so it’s no surprise they’re making waves and driving innovation and creation within this burgeoning category.”

Bailey’s brigade

The research revealed a surprising penchant among Gen Zs (18–24-year-olds) for Bailey’s. More than 20% of this age group choose Bailey’s compared to just 15% of 35-year-olds.

Donegal, Offaly and Longford ranked top for Bailey’s fans, as well as Wexford, Westmeath and Waterford whereas Prosecco pipped Bailey’s to the top of the nice list for counties Clare, Meath and Monaghan.

Fizz & Sparkle

Fizz and sparkle (Prosecco and Champagne) were most prevalent among the 25-44 age ranges, with Prosecco still being the leading choice among the nation’s female drinkers.

The research which was commissioned by Musgrave MarketPlace found that certain counties are also all about the fizz with Dublin, Kilkenny and Wicklow the only places where Prosecco and Champagne ranked top for festive tipples, beating their creamy competitor.

Some regional variations were also revealed:

On the brisk west coast of the country, Galway locals prefer hot whiskey while Cork and Kerry natives are all about the mulled wine at the most magical time of the year.

Monaghan was the only county were American favourite egg nogg ranked at all while in Cavan, brandy is the number one choice at Christmas.

Mayo, Meath and Wexford citizens are also partial to an Irish coffee ranking the 2nd most popular choice for festive drinks.