CEOs of alcohol brands may have woken this morning with a familiar pounding head, however this time not caused by over indulging in their product offering but from the news that increasing numbers of young people are teetotal. It seems alcohol is becoming another casualty of the health and wellbeing trend, alongside sugar and high fat foods. 

What does this cultural shift mean for business? Whilst there has always been some competition between alcoholic beverage companies and non-alcoholic beverage companies, historically they have mostly sat alongside each other, marketing to a different consumer need. Changing consumer trends in drinking are firmly putting them in direct competition. 

Fevertree has shown us that it is possible to create an entirely new premium category of product. With a shrinking market amongst Generation Z consumers (16-25 year olds), alcoholic beverage companies face a choice between developing a strong non-alcoholic offering or concentrating on their premium alcoholic brands which generate higher margins. 

Whereas for those businesses who are already strong in non-alcoholic drinks, are we going to see a shift in marketing to promote their products to consumers socialising in restaurants, bars and clubs?

Consumer trends shift continually and successful consumer brands are experienced at adaptation and reinvention. Those that cannot adapt, or are too slow, are the ones who will be left feeling hammered.