The No-Lo opportunity you might not have thought about.

Right now, sobriety is a hot topic. If you open a trends report, magazine or even just scroll down your newsfeed you’re likely to see at least one post or perspective in relation to going alcohol free. This sudden wave of Sober Culture seems to be being led by health-focused young people ditching the habits of previous generations. What’s more, is we’re greatly admiring them for it. Alcohol has become so engrained within our culture that we consider drinking the default option, with sobriety being something extraordinary, even bizarre.

Quitting drinking is set to be one of the biggest shifts of this generation. However, while we sit in our stylish alcohol-free bars and sip trendy mocktails, we’re forgetting – or perhaps choosing to forget, an important consumer within this innovative category.

As part of our ongoing research into the NoLo world, we went along to events such as the ‘Clean Vic’ opening and a “Sobriety over Hangxiety” event run by the Sober Girls Society. SGC was founded by Millie Gooch, a freelance writer and speaker who quit drink after realising that it was damaging her mental and physical health. The event included a panel discussion, where they talked through their reasons and challenges in sobriety. What struck us most, is that many of the people there were not social drinkers looking to swap their after-work bevy, but people who had faced the trials and tribulations of alcohol addiction.

In England there are an estimated 589,101 dependent drinkers, and alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49-year-olds in the UK {Alcoholchange.org statistics). For those taking steps towards recovery, it can be an isolating experience. As most socialising is centralised around alcohol, it leaves those struggling with the option of surrounding themselves in temptation, or missing out.

No-Lo culture is a potentially life-saving avenue for people overcoming alcohol addiction. What might be a nice alternative option for general consumers may be a key step for those struggling. It allows them to step back into nightlife culture without the same level of pressure or temptation. What’s more, as more people cut down or quit drinking, those recovering will feel less excluded.

What does this mean for brands?

When creating products, it is important that we’re not just making exciting options for those looking try something new – but also for people who have potentially spent a greater portion of their adult life facing a battle with alcohol. Brands have an opportunity, and perhaps a responsibility, to ensure they’re considering this audience when creating products, and thus remaining inclusive to all of those embracing an alcohol-free lifestyle.

This is also a space for brave brands to seize the opportunity to market openly and honestly to this particular consumer. Sometimes it’s not all about being cool or keeping up with trends. Sometimes, it’s about taking the necessary, positive steps to change and possibly save a life.

 

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