One of the effects of the pandemic is that it has caused a huge increase in alcohol consumption. In the United States, there was growth of up to 34% in the sale of alcoholic beverages.
There has also been an explosion in the use of delivery apps for buying alcohol. Some reporting growth of up to 350%. However, there is a strong wave coming against this trend: the phenomenon of the curious sober, or sober curious, in the English original.
There is a huge market forming to meet this new trend of people looking for alcohol-free products. After the boom in craft beers, the explosion of non-alcoholic beverages appears on the horizon.
Until recently, this market was practically unattended. Those who did not want to drink had the option of basically ordering water, juice or soda. This is radically changing.
There is a generation of new brands offering drinks of all kinds for those who want to go to a bar, a club or a social gathering and not drink (or drink less). They are drinks made for adults who seek to maintain the pleasure of social events without the negative effects of alcohol.
Many of them use adaptogenic ingredients (which help the body deal with stress). Among them, ginger, ginseng, holy basil, turmeric, astragalus, root-of-other and centella-asiatica, among others.
Sold in bottles similar to those of craft beer and with sophisticated cultural identification, they are useful for those who want to say no to the next round of drinks without having to ostracize the soda or juice.
More than that, they are drinks that maintain the bars’ profit margin, which manage to make money both from those who want to drink alcohol and those who don’t.
The idea of sober curiosity emerged in the book by American writer Ruby Warrington. Its full title is quirky: Sober-Curious: Sleep Well, Have More Focus, Unlimited Presence, and a Deeper Connection That Awaits All People Opposite Alcohol.
The book was released in early 2019. However, it was only during the pandemic that Ruby’s message began to have a huge impact. People who spilled the juice during this period began to look for alternatives to resume social life without the effects of alcohol.
That’s exactly what the super-curious brands are betting on. The marketing of these companies shows people saying things like: Want to exercise tomorrow morning? Want to look better? Want to live a day without a hangover? So order a sober curious drink.
The movement has also been well received by those who have problems with alcohol, the sober serious. There is now an adult alternative, socially accepted and even gourmet for those who cannot drink (and not just for those who choose not to drink).
Instagram profiles like @fucking_sober have done a great job of coolly subverting the fight against alcoholism, making that very fight and the idea of sobriety cool.
Next time you go to a bar or restaurant, it’s worth checking to see if the menu has already been updated to include a sober curious drinks section.
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