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(NOT) BUZZWORTHY

Who are non-alcoholic drinks really for?

an overhead shot of two drinks that look like cocktails.
Reuters/Caitlin Ochs
Like booze, but better.
  • Katherine Ellen Foley
By Katherine Ellen Foley

Health and science reporter

Over the past few years, adult beverage companies have been taking a new approach to bringing in customers. Instead of ramping up the alcohol content of their beverages—a trend consistent with craft beers—they’re decreasing it or removing it entirely.

The market shift reflects a shift in the way people want to drink: intentionally. Instead of going along with the drinking culture infused at work or social events, some like to say “no.” When teetotaling or forgoing alcohol is not tied to a medical or religious condition, it’s considered a wellness choice, akin to meditating or eliminating processed foods from your diet.

Brands are responding to sobriety’s growing popularity. There are now dozens brands selling beverages with no alcohol that are advertised as mocktails crafted with high-end mixology, or beers with the same hoppy taste. And for those who still want to drink but want fewer, less-desirable consequences (like hangovers), researchers are working on a new slew of beverages.

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