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Marketing Tips for Standing Out in the Booming No- and Low-Alcohol Category

Sales of no- and low-alcohol products are on the rise, and brands are picking up on the trend. Use these tips to stand out in this booming market.

More and more consumers than ever before are reaching for no-alcohol and low-alcohol options to enjoy. These options are attractive to consumers who want to take care of their health or just as a way to be more mindful of their alcohol consumption. Sales of no- and low-alcohol products are on the rise, and brands are picking up on the trend. If you’re ready to break into this growing market, we’ve got tools and resources to help you stand out in the no- and low-alcohol category.

Who is Drinking No-Alcohol and Low-Alcohol Products?

When developing any marketing strategy, you must first consider who you’ll be marketing to. In the case of no- and low-alcohol products, Millennials and Gen Z consumers are the driving forces. Millennials are growing more health-conscious and financially savvy, meaning they are less likely than previous generations to go for those after-work cocktails. As more and more Gen Z consumers reach the legal drinking age, fewer of them are reaching for alcohol and instead looking for other options.

Where Can Consumers Buy No- and Low-Alcohol Products?

Many businesses are already adopting no- and low-alcohol products. Much like how plant-based meat alternatives have taken off in restaurants, no/low alcohol cocktails are becoming more popular to serve. In addition to restaurants, grocery stores are also hopping on board the no/low alcohol train. 

But that’s not all. Entire stores dedicated to the sale of no- and low-alcohol products are opening up around the country. Celebrities like Blake Lively and Katy Perry are stepping into the booming industry with their own no/low brands as well. In short, these products once swept under the rug are now finding their way onto shelves everywhere.

Launching a New Brand vs. Expanding an Established Brand

Existing alcohol brands are now faced with a conundrum. Do they add to their product offerings or create an entirely new no-alcohol brand? Each strategy comes with its own set of benefits.

Launching a New No/Low Alcohol Brand

Starting a new brand offering no- or low-alcohol products allows you to create an entirely new brand persona. This is especially helpful if you already have an established brand that won’t quite mesh with the no/low movement. A new brand brings with it the opportunity to create new connections with consumers and build an entirely new customer base.

Expanding an Established Brand with No/Low Alcohol Products

Expanding your brand to include no- or low-alcohol options makes your brand more versatile and able to serve a wider variety of customers. Since your brand is already established, you will have an easier time marketing your new product on the platforms you currently use. Existing customers who have already been looking for no/low alcohol products will be more likely to try your new product since they’re familiar with your brand already.

Beverage giant AB InBev is a great example of both with over 80 low/no alcohol brands in its portfolio, along with Budweiser Zero under its flagship brand. Heineken is right there too with Heineken 0.0.

How to Market No-Alcohol and Low-Alcohol Beverages

Marketing a no/low alcohol product is very similar to marketing alcohol products. If you already have a thriving alcohol brand, incorporating no/low alcohol products into your marketing strategy can be fairly simple. After all, the target markets do overlap. However, there are a few strategies that can work particularly well for no- and low-alcohol products that you should consider before starting your marketing campaign.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing for alcohol brands can be challenging, as most platforms have strict regulations on messaging and advertisements for the alcohol industry. No-alcohol brands, however, have a bit more freedom when it comes to marketing on social media, though most of the same strategies apply.

The key to a good social media marketing strategy is staying engaged with your audience. Stay on top of DMs and reply to comments in order to keep a good flow of communication going with your followers. Don’t forget to post good, relevant content for your followers to enjoy. Share Instagram reels showing different no/low alcohol cocktail recipes using your product, and post relatable photos of consumers enjoying your product in settings where alcohol is normally consumed.

Read more: How to Boost Alcohol Sales Using Social Media

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a great way to build your brand’s reputation and reach an owned audience. No longer limited to celebrities or bloggers with millions of followers, influencer marketing is an accessible strategy for brands of all sizes. The key to making the most of influencer marketing is to partner with a content creator who resonates with your brand and shares, at least in part, a similar audience as your brand. Whether on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, etc., influencer marketing can absolutely boost your brand awareness if done correctly.

Samples, Tastings, and Events

It’s a well-known fact that free samples drive sales. Allowing potential customers to sample your product before buying it builds confidence in the product and creates a positive association with your brand. If you are a brick-and-mortar business trying to tap into your local market, hosting tastings and sponsoring events are ingenious ways to build relationships with potential customers. 

Clubs & Subscription Boxes

If wine companies can have monthly clubs, why can’t no- and low-alcohol brands? After all, many folks trying no/low alcohol products are doing so to replicate the cultural and social experience of consuming alcohol without any of the negative effects. Getting into curated subscription boxes around specific themes, like ‘summer garden party’, ‘guilt-free treats’, or ‘Christmas mocktail hour’ are great ways to help ease new customers into the no/low alcohol life.

Great Product Design

One thing you don’t want to overlook is the overall design of your product. Remember, customers are moving to no- and low-alcohol alternatives instead of reaching for sodas because they’re more sophisticated and blend into spaces once dominated by alcohol. So, take care that your zero-proof spirit bottles look at home on bar shelves. And yes, product design is absolutely an important facet of great marketing.

Make Your Product More Accessible

If you’re working to distribute your product nationwide and reach a broader audience, adding a store locator to your site is majorly beneficial. The Grappos locator app can integrate with platforms like Squarespace, Wix, Shopify, and more. The Grappos team handles all data management, customization, and updates, making it one of the easiest store locators to implement and maintain.

Request a store locator demo from Grappos to see how it can amplify your marketing efforts for your no- and low-alcohol products.

Conclusion

The no- and low-alcohol category is booming, so there’s no better time to break into the market. With these powerful marketing tools, you’re sure to build a strong customer base and see sales soar.

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Eric Kunisawa

Founder & CEO

Eric Kunisawa is the founder of Grappos. He's been successfully helping businesses connect customers with their products since 2008.

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