As the movement toward healthier lifestyles grows, consumers are increasingly conscious of what they’re drinking as much as what they’re eating. Among the trends is “mindful drinking,” an awareness of beverage choices and consumption patterns that many adopt as part of their wellness and lifestyle goals. This awareness influences shoppers’ choices of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages alike.
How Consumers’ Mindful Drinking Impacts Beverage Choices
A focus on well-being drives consumer behavior and beverage market innovation in multiple ways.
Consumers Seek Alternatives to Full-Strength Alcoholic Beverages
Recent research shows that over half of American consumers are more mindful about their beer, wine and spirit intake. This trend has increased demand for alternatives to drinking alcohol at full strength, such as beverages with lower alcohol by volume (ABV) — 26% of survey respondents reported switching to low-ABV drinks as part of their moderation strategy. Another 20% have transitioned to nonalcoholic beverages to limit intake, with 43% and 40% choosing water and carbonated soft drinks, respectively.
Consumers Show a Preference for Value-Added Beverages
As prices continue to rise, shoppers increasingly look for ways to maximize their spending. This trend holds true for the beverage market, where consumers actively seek drinks offering extra value.
Functional beverages — those that claim health and wellness benefits such as increased energy and immune system support — remain popular, with a 2022 market value of $201.2 billion. Experts expect that to grow to a value of $358.8 billion by 2030.
Consumers are also making bigger connections between the planet’s health and their own. They’re actively buying from brands that support sustainability to promote overall well-being, with 30% citing green practices as a purchasing factor.
Consumers Are Conscious About Sugars and Sweeteners
Sugars and sweeteners are another area where consumer preferences are driving change. Recent research found 7 out of 10 shoppers are concerned about the healthiness of artificial sweeteners. These concerns lead them to purchase beverages with natural sweeteners instead. The same survey reports half of consumers are mindfully lowering their sugar intake, opting for drinks touting reduced-sugar and no-added-sugar claims.
Consumers Want Convenience
Consumers don’t just want more health-conscious beverages. They want them in ways that fit their active lifestyles. That often means a grab-and-go experience at the time of consumption. The preference for convenience is true for nonalcoholic drinks like functional beverages, with 73% of American consumers reporting they find them more appealing than traditional nutritional supplements.
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