Gen Z embraces alcohol-free Christmas: Musgrave MarketPlace

18–34-year-olds are increasingly opting for fruity, easy to drink mocktails, which still let them feel a sense of celebration and get their party on

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



20 December 2022

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Cold turkey is not just for St. Stephen’s Day it seems, as new research reveals that Irish Gen Zs will 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 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.

“The Irish market has seen significant growth of 11.2% in the ‘low and no’ lager category this year, generating €22.4m in sales to September this year according to CGA figures,” said Ken Allan, head of Beverage at Musgrave MarketPlace. “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 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,” Allan said.

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.

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





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