Drinking Mindfully with No-Added Sugar Mocktails!

April 03, 2023 | Non-alcoholic beverage

The non-alcoholic drinks category grows up

Mindful drinking is changing attitudes and expectations at social occasions. It’s driving demand for alcohol-free beverages that are stylish, refreshing and full of flavour. With our help, cutting back doesn’t have to mean losing out. 

New perspective

Mindful drinking is a growing trend. Often described as a movement, it’s been embraced by many consumers as a positive way to reset their relationship with alcohol. Some are sober-curious or want to quit entirely, while others are choosing to reduce overall alcohol consumption for a healthier lifestyle. 

In the UK, for example, almost 1 in 4 young adults are now teetotal [1]. One in three have reduced alcohol intake [2]. And the number of adults who drink alcohol is reportedly at an all-time low[3]. 

The UK-born Dry January abstinence challenge also continues to go from strength to strength. Nearly 8 million UK adults are believed to have taken part in 2022 [4] - an impressive 22% increase on the previous year – and its influence [5] now reaches from the US to Scandinavia and beyond.

Not surprisingly, this cultural shift is driving growth in the no and low-alcohol drinks category. A recent analysis predicts that total global sales will increase by more than 31% over the next two years [6].



Pitch perfect

So is this mindful audience looking for a teetotal tipple?

What they don’t want is to feel out of place. Opting to go alcohol-free shouldn’t mean standing out from the crowd or having a limited choice of basic soft drinks. Variety, sophistication and enjoyment are all just as important.

Remember, this is often about a moment shared. So whether it’s a World Cup match in a busy bar, a celebratory birthday meal or a family get-together at home, the chosen drink needs to provide the same sense of occasion. 

Of course, it could also mark the end of a busy day, the start of a relaxing weekend or any other point in time. What matters is that the teetotal alternative still hits the spot and delivers rounded flavours, high-quality taste and looks good.

Interestingly, many brands have also recognised that a more conscious attitude to drinking often goes hand in hand with an interest in health and well-being. For these consumers, product labels and positioning are a key part of the purchasing decision. So reducing sugar, using natural ingredients and adding functional benefits will all add to a product’s appeal.

From a technical formulation point of view, meeting these complex demands is not easy – and that is where we come in.  

Doing more with less

Alcohol is an excellent flavour carrier, so non-alcoholic versions of well-loved favourites can fall short in terms of taste. Red wine, for example, is generally around 15% proof which means that removing it can dramatically change the full-bodied flavour experience. And nobody wants a thin and watery mouthfeel. 

Sugar, on the other hand, provides a rounded sweetness profile in everything from cocktails to sparkling wine and mixers. Any reduction will naturally impact expectations, taste profile and enjoyment. But the use of artificial sweeteners won’t please this health-aware audience either. 

Our technical team will address these critical formulation issues head-on. Using our innovative range of PureCircle™ by Ingredion stevia flavour modifiers and sweeteners, we can expertly blend your beverage recipe to create the optimum, sugar-free, alcohol-free drinking experience. 

In practice, this means we can:

  •  Create balanced, sugar-like sweetness
  •  Improve mouthfeel, texture and solubility
  • Reduce off-notes and bitterness
  •  Enhance flavours for a consumer-preferred taste. 

The dry bar is open

Looking for inspiration? You’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re keen to create a sophisticated mocktail, a fabulous alcohol-free fizz, or a beautifully balanced botanical, our technical team can guide you through the development process.

Visit the Ingredion idea labs™ for an appetising alcohol-free aperitif. You’ll find two clean, no added sugar mocktail recipes that taste just like the real thing. Choose from a zesty mojito or a classic cosmopolitan. Cheers!

[1] https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/alcohol-teetotal-young-adults-drinking-beer-siba-a9393361.html

[2] https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/alcohol-teetotal-young-adults-drinking-beer-siba-a9393361.html



[4] https://trulyexperiences.com/blog/dry-january-statistics/#:~:text=What%20Is%20Dry%20January%3F,a%20more%20long%20term%20commitment.

[5] https://www.cntraveler.com/story/how-dry-january-became-a-thing-around-the-world

[6] https://www.theiwsr.com/wp-content/uploads/IWSR_No-and-Low-Alcohol-Gains-Share-Within-Total-Beverage-Alcohol-2021.pdf