The World Is Embracing Health And Wellness, But Alcohol-Free Often Feels Like You’re Missing Out. Now You – Benzinga

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The health and wellness industry has been growing steadily for decades but has surged since the pandemic, growing 5 to 10 percent annually for the last couple of years. It is a challenging sector to categorize accurately but is currently worth an estimated $4.4 trillion.
People have always espoused the benefits of healthier lifestyles, but there has recently been a noticeable surge in interest. The pandemic increased focus on aspects such as nutrition, fitness, sleep patterns, mental health, and mindfulness. 
Global healthcare spending is now around US$8.8 trillion and holding steady. That the health and wellness sector has reached half that level and continues to rise shows a significant shift in mindset. 
This is primarily due to the pandemic causing a reassessment of wellbeing. A study in 2021, a year into the pandemic, found that 61 percent of Americans had experienced weight gain. Over a similar period, the World Health Organization found global anxiety and depression had increased by an alarming 25 percent.  
The pandemic caused a shift to healthier living that has remained and accelerated ever since. A great example of something common pre-pandemic but is now being reassessed post-pandemic is people’s relationship to alcohol. 
When the population was stuck at home, there was a rise in alcohol intake, contributing to the weight gain and anxiety experienced by many. However, as we emerge from Covid 19’s shadow and healthier lifestyles have gained in popularity, individuals started to cut back, with movements such as ‘sober curious’ and ‘mindful drinking’ becoming common.
After-work drinks, parties, and general celebrations are synonymous with alcohol in many cultures. But, as anyone who has tried to cut back their intake, attempted a ‘dry January’, or been on antibiotics will know, there is a feeling of missing out on the fun. This is exacerbated by the typically poor non-alcoholic available.
Thankfully, that is starting to change as more people cut back and look for alternatives. Alcohol-free beers have been around for decades, but not everyone likes the taste. Fortunately, the last few years have also seen a surge in no/low alcohol drinks that are varied, tasty, and healthy.
A great example is Boom Beverage Corp, a Canadian company creating healthier non-alcohol mixes and cocktails. Boom Beverage's senior vice president explains how it all came about.
“There is a rising number of health-conscious people who are focusing on cutting back on previous indulgences – and alcohol consumption is top of that list,” Dobbin says. “This doesn’t mean everyone is going purely alcohol-free, just that many are just cutting down.”
A study by the International Wine and Spirits Record (IWSR) backs this up. Its research found increasing numbers of people choosing to drink no/low alcohol drinks to avoid the effects of alcohol consumption. But notably, 58 percent chose moderation over abstinence and even switched between non-alcohol and full-alcohol beverages at the same event. 
Dobbin says, “Making healthier choices shouldn’t make people feel like they are missing out, and this is where we noticed a massive gap in the market. Current non-alcoholic options don’t taste like the real thing, and water can be dull. Other alternatives, like low-alcohol beer, aren’t for everyone. So, we created the non-alcohol ABOVE line of the most popular mixed drinks and cocktails.
“Our cocktails are lighter than the alcoholic versions without sacrificing any of the taste or aroma. We’ve used proprietary technologies to create ready-mixed full-flavored blends of popular drinks like whiskey and coke, gin and tonic, coconut rum, and cocktails like a Bloody Mary, Screwdriver, Mimosa, and Mojito,” Dobbin explains.    
Companies like Boom Beverage are proving incredibly popular, and major drinks brands are scrambling to catch up. According to NielsenIQ figures, the US off-premise no- and low- alcohol market was worth US$3.3 billion in 2021, with non-alcoholic spirits seeing the fastest rise. This is a huge increase from 2020 when the same sector saw US$291 million in sales.  
Dobbin says, “The demand has been incredible, and we have been rapidly expanding our ABOVE line and formulation portfolio. For example, we have also developed flavor profiles for gin, whiskey, vodka, and rum. Our drinks taste the same as the alcohol version and even pack a punch, so no one needs to feel like they are missing out.”
As the desire for healthier lifestyles grows, so will the options available. This trend was already underway and has been accelerated by the pandemic.
Alcohol is an excellent example of something that, for most people, is fine in moderation but can be unhealthy in excess. Lockdowns have shown many how drinking can lead to obesity and potential issues like anxiety and depression. 
Many are now choosing to quit or at least cut down. Until recently, scenarios such as celebrations or nights on the town with friends left people trying to limit alcohol feeling like they were missing out. But, thanks to alternatives by companies like Boom Beverage, that is no longer the case.
Image sourced from Unsplash  
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