5 reasons to put alcohol-free cocktails on your menu

The success of non-alcoholic drinks has been on the rise for several years. After the rise of non-alcoholic beers and wines, mocktails (cocktails without alcohol) make their entrance and are becoming a real trend. Moreover, non-alcoholic aperitifs offer a nice amount of benefits for both catering operators and their clients.

Here are 5 good reasons to choose for mocktails:

  • There is a growing demand for « alcohol-free »

A study published by Nielsen listing the 25 most successful food consumer products in Europe found that “nolo” (no or low alcohol) drinks are more popular than ever. Out of the 7 drinks presented in this list, no less than 5 are non-alcoholic.

In addition, it has been proven over and over again that the percentage of customers who consume alcohol in bars is decreasing year after year. Today, less than 1 in 2 customers order an alcoholic drink in a bar or restaurant. This is perfectly linked to the fact that a 30.5% increase in the sale of non-alcoholic drinks was observed in France between 2017 and 2018.

  • It is healthy

One of the main reasons cited by consumers for replacing an alcoholic drink by its virgin version is that alcohol is bad for your health. No one is surprised by the fact that alcohol may cause health problems. Sleep disorders, cancer, an increased risk of traffic accidents, weight problems and negative consequences on a professional- and family level are just a few examples of alcohol-related health risks. Obviously, alcohol is not our best friend when it comes to health.

In order to make the Belgian population aware of the danger of alcohol, the Foundation against Cancer (Stichting tegen Kanker) organizes «Tournée Minérale» every year in February. Tournée Minérale encourages people not to consume any drop of alcohol during the whole month. Every year, 1 in 5 Belgians participate in this initiative. 8 out of 10 even persist in doing it. This clearly shows the willpower of our fellow citizens to reduce their alcohol consumption. Ghent University conducted a survey among the participants to find out the effect of Tournée Minérale. The results show that 6 months after their participation, the participants consumed on average two glasses alcohol per week less compared to the situation before. In addition, many participants experience that Tournée Minérale provides them a better quality of sleep, more energy, weight loss or a general feeling of greater well-being.

It is clear that there are good reasons not to drink alcohol. People feel responsible for their own health and are aware of the damage alcohol can have on their own well-being. Therefore, more and more people are opting for non-alcoholic alternatives.

  • It is trendy

Although most people currently assume that mainly female consumers are attracted to this type of drink, we notice that in France almost 75% of the population have consumed a mocktail at least once in their live.

In the catering industry, we notice that more and more bars and restaurants are convinced of the success of non-alcoholic cocktails and want to follow this trend. For example, at the prestigious «Paris Cocktail Week 2020» show, we saw the exceptional presence of a bar serving alcohol-free drinks in the midst of the many booths dedicated to strong liquors.

  • It is profitable

Furthermore, from a financial perspective the share of non-alcoholic drinks for restaurant- and bar owners must be considered. Currently, it represents on average almost 20% of their turnover. Moreover, this percentage has known an increasing trend in recent years, in line with the success of this type of drink.

Non-alcoholic cocktails are undoubtedly very profitable for traders. On the one hand due to their low-cost price and on the other hand due to their relatively high sales price, created in part thanks to the high added value of a cocktail compared to a classic soft drink. A cocktail has a natural and healthy connotation, while a traditional soft drink is more likely to be linked to the negative image of a drink that is harmful for your health.

Regarding the difference in margin between an alcoholic cocktail and a mocktail, we can conclude that the non-alcoholic version is often more beneficial, as the difference in the à la carte price is often not enough to offset the cost of purchasing alcohol when opting for the alcoholic version.

  • Imagination is the only barrier

Before the rise of mocktails, customers ordering a non-alcoholic drink at restaurants were in the minority. These persons were often forced to choose between water or sugary drinks. Due to this unattractive range of non-alcoholic drinks, it was not uncommon to encounter frustrated and dissatisfied consumers. Thanks to the mocktail, we are experiencing a small revolution in the field of flavours offering a beloved alcohol-free alternative for the consumer. The mocktail offers endless possibilities thanks to an inexhaustible range of ingredients that can be combined without any limit. Nevertheless, there is one limitation; the imagination of the bartenders.

It is possible to combine for example grapefruit with thyme, or basil with hibiscus flower, to experiment with lavender, lemongrass or chili, but also to finish the presentation with fruit or even floral water for its scent. Proposing numerous mixtures and daring to combine more and more unusual ingredients is an art in itself. In other words, nothing is impossible and that is what makes a mocktail beautiful and unique.

Finally, although the word mocktail comes from the word “mock” which means imitation or deception, this non-alcoholic version has absolutely nothing to do with a deceit! In addition to its economic qualities, it is a drink that allows you to fully maintain the sophistication and taste of the cocktail while the negative effects of alcohol are not applicable.

So, there is one thing left to do: conquer the non-alcoholic cocktail!

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