Alcohol vs Non-Alcoholic Drinks?
From alcohol to non-alcoholic alternatives: Why are people making the switch?
Alcohol is defined as an organic substance which derives from fermenting sugar with yeast. For many people drinking is a part of socialising when celebrating or even enjoying a meal.
In recent times, many people have been moving away from drinking alcohol. When socialising, in many cases it is difficult not to drink. As a result, individuals are making the decision to choose a non-alcoholic alternative.
Is alcohol better than non-alcoholic?
There are many arguments that alcohol has benefits. Professionals are divided on the subject, but some evidence suggests there are benefits in small quantities. Research shows it can reduce the risk of developing and dying of heart disease. There is a possibility it may also reduce strokes and risk of diabetes. In particular whisky contains antioxidants and has proven benefits in anti-ageing and hair health. Many experts say that 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks per day for men is a low risk amount that can be beneficial for health.
However, many people find it hard to control the level of alcohol they consume. As a result in many cases the bad can outweigh the good.
What are the disadvantages of alcohol?
Since alcohol is defined as a drug, the drawback of enjoying too much alcohol can cause addiction. It can be seen in people from all walks of life and in varying levels. Addiction to alcohol is defined as someone who heavily relies on drinking and cannot stay sober for an extended period of time. This is a disease which can be very gradual, but has huge effects on behaviour and mental state.
Alcohol addiction can look like:
The emerging non-alcoholic drinks market
Having had discussions with people who drink alcohol, many of them are now choosing non-alcoholic alternatives. But why?
For some they say it is for the health benefits. When you drink alcohol you don’t actually digest it. Instead it goes straight into the bloodstream and travels to every part of the body. Hence why the effect of alcohol can be felt so quickly. It then effects your brain, kidneys, lungs and liver. These effects can also depend on your age, gender, weight and the type of alcohol.
Many individuals feel this is too high a price to pay to enjoy a night out with friends. They would rather enjoy the socialising, without having to sacrifice their health.
Behavioural science behind non-alcoholic drinks?
As always, I like to look at the behavioural decision making for individuals shifting over to alternatives. In my opinions there are 3 main reasons why individuals are choosing to make this switch.
In recent years the market size for non-alcoholic beverages has increased dramatically, and yet is still in it infancy in terms of size. There is reason to suggest that in the next ten years this will grow rapidly. Such that for every alcoholic drink there will be a non-alcoholic alternative. Because of this availability it gives people an alternative choice which they did not previously have.
Although this seem trivial, having a choice to drink an alternative will encourage more people to make the switch. They can still enjoy a night out and appear to be having a drink. And as a bonus avoid the hangover the next morning.
2) Cognitive Dissonance
As described in my post on veganism, many people can hold conflicting views about alcohol. On the one side, they enjoy the effects of it and nights out. On the other, it is a costly activity which is not necessarily required. Many people also feel discomfort from the idea of being unable to be fully in control of themselves when under the influence of alcohol. And the added health implications adds to this discomfort.
This coupled with the effect of being unable to remember many aspect of their evenings can result in cognitive dissonance. As a result people are switching to an alternative where they can have the best of both. This also removes the metal discomfort of having less control over their actions, and sacrificing a healthier life approach.
3) Mental Health
Since alcohol is a depressant in that it reduces pain, many individuals use it as a way of release or escape. It can feel like a comfort to many people to have that release from the daily stresses of life. However by doing so, some people can feel the only way to be happy is under the influence of alcohol. The brain associates happiness with drinking by as process of classical conditioning and can this be extremely detrimental.
As a result, this can cause levels of instability and feelings of depression. The more it becomes a habit, the harder it is to break this habit and it turns into a vicious cycle. However, with the alcohol alternatives tasting as close to the real drink, many people can experience a placebo effect. Individuals can feel that same happiness they felt previously, without having the after effects.
This is not to say that non-alcoholic drinks can cure addiction, but more of an example of how they could be utilised in the future.
Why am I writing a blog post about alcohol?
I am aware that many of you will be thinking why is Mariam writing a blog post about alcohol?! And you are right in thinking it is completely abnormal. I am not here to promote drinking or trying alcohol. The real reason to write this post is to talk about a non-alcoholic product.
Let’s talk about Talonmore
Talonmore do things differently
With many non-alcoholic drinks the process is one where they distill the drinks. Thereby removing the alcohol from the drink itself. In many cases this can leave traces of up to 0.5% ABV.
Talonmore take a different approach. Through brewing and infusing, they have mixed their signature brand flavours like ginger with local Scottish water. By doing so they bring you a drink that is replicating a dark spirit.
Instead of switching entirely aware from alcohol, Talonmore is bringing you a 0% ABV which you can consume on its own or by mixing it with other drinks. With Talonmore only very recently launching their product and being Scotland based, I was very interested in writing this blog post.
Watch this space!
I think the non-alcoholic drinks market is fascinating and a space to definitely watch. For drinks like Talonmore, it is the perfect time to enter the market and grow as a company. Talonmore offers a cheaper, healthy and more life sustaining alternative.