Can It? Zero-proof Canned Cocktail Performance
by David Klemt
Veylinx, a behavioral research platform trusted by some of the world’s biggest brands, has turned their attention alcohol-free canned cocktails for a recent study.
For their latest study, consumer demand for non-alcoholic canned cocktails, Veylinx showed how seriously they take research and methodology.
Conducted between November and December of 2023, the platform created a fictional canned cocktail brand, Elixir. This was done to account for brand bias.
Further, the “brand” produced two benchmark products—alcohol and alcohol-free—and four variations. These non-alcoholic variants offered four different benefits: CBD, mood boost, zero-calorie, and natural detox.
All participants were 21 or older:
- 21 to 25
- 26 to 35
- 36 to 45
- 46 to 55
- 56 to 65
- Older than 65
Half of the study identified as male, and the other half as female. Most, 73 percent, were alcohol drinkers, while 27 percent were not.
For the study, Veylinx had each participant, 410 in total, bid on the six Elixir products with their own money. The bidding took place in randomized, sequential auction.
After the auction, the participants completed a questionnaire. The following is a sample question:
“What would be the main reasons for you NOT to buy non-alcoholic beverages? Please select all that apply.”
Possible answers to that question were: Limited availability, Limited variety, Flavor, and/or Other.
With methodology explained, let’s check out the results.
Canned Cocktails by the Numbers
While demand for non-alcohol canned cocktails appears to be growing, their counterparts remain most popular.
Per Veylinx, demand for Elixir’s alcoholic canned cocktails surged by 20 percent in their study. In comparison, average demand for the fictional brand’s non-alcoholic benchmark and variants canned cocktails increased by four percent.
Further, the full-proof and zero-proof CBD products garnered the most interest. The alcoholic version saw an uplift of seven percent, and CBD saw a three-percent uplift. Consumers showed the least interest in non-alcohol, zero-calorie variants.
Comparing 2022 to 2023, demand for “standard” alcohol-free canned cocktails is up 14 percent. This is followed by the CBD variant with four-percent growth in consumer demand. Next, non-alcoholic canned cocktails with a “mood-boosting” benefit, which grew by two percent. Natural detox saw an increase in demand of just one percent. And consumer demand for zero-calorie, zero-alcohol canned cocktails fell by one percent.
So, today’s consumer, at least according to research conducted by Veylinx, is most interested in alcoholic canned cocktails. Still, there’s growing interest in alcohol-free canned cocktails, something for operators to keep in mind.
Changes in Behavior
Speaking of interest in zero-proof, Veylinx uncovered some other interesting information.
In 2022, around 56 percent of consumers expressed interest reducing their alcohol consumption. That number fell by 18 percent to 38 percent in 2023. That’s still a significant percentage of consumers looking to make a big change in their lives.
Forty-one percent of consumers aged 21 to 35 are trying to reduce their alcohol intake. That number drops slightly to 36 percent for those aged 36 and older.
Veylinx also found that half of consumers would drink less alcohol if one simple change took place. All it would take is better-quality, non-alcohol versions at better prices to hit the market.
In fact, per Veylinx, consumers cited flavor and price as the two top influences on their decision to consume zero-proof canned cocktails. So far, energy drinks are the go-to for most consumers trying to drink less alcohol.
If they’re smart, brands with an interest in producing successful non-alcohol canned cocktails will work to improve costs, flavors, and health benefits, if this Veylinx study is taken to heart.
To review this study in its entirety yourself, click here. The press release for the study is below.
The Year of Canned Cocktails: Consumer Demand Increases for Non-Alcholic and Alcoholic Variations
NEW YORK, December 20, 2023 — According to a new, year-over-year study from behavioral research platform Veylinx, consumer demand is increasing for both non-alcoholic and alcoholic canned cocktails. Using Veylinx’s proprietary methodology—which measures actual demand rather than intent— the study found that demand for non-alcoholic canned cocktails grew by 4%, while demand for alcoholic canned cocktails surged by 20% over last year.
While interest remains strong for non-alcoholic alternatives, the percentage of people trying to reduce their alcohol consumption fell by 18%, to 38%. This decline from 2022 could lead to lower participation in abstinence events like Dry January.
Half of respondents claimed they would drink less alcohol if better non-alcoholic alternatives were available, showing opportunity for yet more innovation in the beverage sector. Those looking to reduce their alcohol consumption are 50% more interested in non-alcoholic cocktails.
In 2022, “Never tried before,” was the top reason consumers gave for not buying canned non-alcoholic beverages. That is no longer the case in 2023, suggesting that non-alcoholic canned cocktails increased their market penetration over the last year. Flavor and price are now the primary reasons people don’t buy non-alcoholic cocktails.
“Even with fewer people trying to reduce their alcohol consumption, demand for non-alcoholic canned cocktails continues to grow,” said Veylinx founder and CEO Anouar El Haji. “Drinkers and non-drinkers alike are receptive to ready-to-drink alternatives that are better for their health and wallets.”
The study also measured demand for non-alcoholic cocktails enhanced with functional benefits like mood boosters, detoxifiers and CBD. Demand for the standard non-alcoholic version increased 14% from last year, while the enhanced variations increased only slightly and the zero-calorie version fell by 1%. This suggests consumers might be losing interest in what they perceive as marketing gimmicks. The CBD version saw a 4% increase in demand, remaining the most popular non-alcoholic variation.
Additional key findings:
The optimal price for non-alcoholic canned cocktails that maximizes revenue for brands is $12 for a four-pack
The brands consumers have tried the most are: 1) Mocktail Club, 2) Wild Tonic, 3) Spiritless, 4) DRY, and 5) Hella Cocktail Co
44% of people expressed support for an additional 10% tax on alcohol as a public health measure for reducing consumption
For those aiming to drink less alcohol by replacing it with other beverages, energy drinks experienced the greatest increase in popularity
Physical Health and Cost are the two most popular reasons for reducing alcohol consumption
Grocery stores are the most popular place to buy non-alcoholic canned cocktails
Flavor options have the most influence on which brand consumers choose
A lower price would convince 20% of consumers to buy more non-alcoholic cocktails
To download more detailed results from the 2023 Non-Alcoholic Canned Cocktail study or for more information about Veylinx, visit https://veylinx.com/canned-cocktails.
About the research
Unlike typical surveys where consumers are simply asked about their preferences, Veylinx uses behavioral research to reveal how much consumers will pay for a product through a real bidding process. Consumers reveal their true willingness to pay by placing sealed bids on products and then answering follow-up questions about their reasons to buy or not to buy. The research was conducted in November and December 2023 among U.S. consumers ages 21 and over. It is a follow-up to a similar study Veylinx conducted in October 2022. The 2022 study can be found at https://info.veylinx.com/non-alcoholic-cocktails