Tap into the explosive growth of zero-proof beverages

The leading beverage market analysis firm IWSR predicts that the total consumption of zero-proof beverages throughout the world will increase by 31% in 2024[1]. This explosive growth will only increase in the years to come, reflecting the growing consumer inclination towards healthier lifestyle choices. In this article, you’ll discover the key influences that drive the surging zero-proof beverage trend.

How to thrive as a beverage brand

Part of the appeal of is not only due to their non-alcoholic nature, but also the way the brands offers a sophisticated, multisensory and social drinking experience without the down sides. Brands that adapt to this shift are positioning themselves to thrive in an evolving marketplace where consumers of key demographics like millennials and GenZ are increasingly prioritizing health and sustainable product choices without compromising on flavor, color, and experience.

What are ”zero proof” drinks?

  • The term “zero proof” refers to beverages that contain no alcohol. They are also referred to as non-alcoholic or alcohol-free drinks.
  • The term is often used in the context of cocktails or spirits that are designed to mimic the taste and experience of their alcoholic counterparts without the presence of alcohol, catering to individuals seeking alcohol-like flavors, colors and tasting experience in a beverage without the effects of alcohol consumption.
  • This category includes a variety of beverages, from non-alcoholic beers and wines to crafted mocktails and distilled non-alcoholic spirits.

Purple cocktail


Generational responses to zero-proof

Millennials, and especially GenZ, are hyper-focused on living meaningful, purpose-driven lives that are healthy, creative, authentic, and playful. They are also facing daunting financial, environmental, and societal pressures and are acutely aware of the effects of alcohol on their health and personal relationships. Their desire to connect, both in person and online, and their need to be inclusive and sensitive to the needs of others makes zero-proof beverages a natural choice for this transformative generation of consumers.

GenZ is also the first digitally native generation and their embrace of zero-proof beverages reflects their innate understanding that behaviors and decisions will potentially be documented in real-time for all the world to see on social media. This generation is more cautious than previous generations about how others perceive them because their peer group is a global one composed of strangers and friends. Zero-proof beverages provide a vehicle to celebrate and enjoy – without the online consequences.

  • 49% of GenZ are concerned about their online image[2]
  • 76% believe controlling their behavior in public is crucial[2]

From eco-consciousness to vibrant aesthetics

Millennials, who are often health-conscious and environmentally aware, are drawn to the wellness aspect of zero proof beverages and sustainable ingredients. Meanwhile, GenZ consumers, who value authenticity and experience, are captivated by the vibrant aesthetics and the innovative approach to traditional drinking experiences. For these younger consumers, the visual appeal of a beverage is almost as important as its taste, making radiant colors an essential ingredient in crafting drinks that align with their values, emotional needs, and lifestyle.

Orange drink with flower


The secret to consumer connection

By positioning plant-based colors at the forefront of zero-proof innovation, brands can create visually appealing drinks that align with the clean label movement and also embody a commitment to sustainability and health. Vibrant, natural colors enable brands to tell a multifaceted story that appeals to consumers’ desire for authenticity and transparency.

EXBERRY®’s 400-strong natural color portfolio can be tailored to fit specific brand narratives and marketing strategies. For instance, a brand targeting millennials might opt for subtle, earthy tones that speak to a natural and sustainable ethos, while a brand appealing to GenZ might choose bold, electric hues that signify energy and creativity.

Green drink


Color as a tool for storytelling

As the zero-proof trend continues to gain momentum, the role of color in beverage design becomes increasingly significant. EXBERRY®’s plant-based colors are not only ingredients; they are tools for storytelling, enabling brands to connect with consumers on a deeper level. By embracing these colors, brands can offer beverages that are not just drinks, but experiences – healthy, enjoyable, and resonant with the values of today’s discerning consumer.

Partner up with our culinary and application teams

Do you want to thrive as a beverage brand? Collaborate with our experts on every stage of your zero-proof formulation process. From innovation ideation, color matching and stability testing to regulatory and upscaling support.

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Rhubarb Botanical Spritzer

[1] The ISWR “What’s Driving Growth in the No- and Low-Alcohol Space?”
[2] Think With Google “New Market, New Rules: How Gen Z’s Are Changing the Alcohol Industry”