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Alcohol Flavours – How Plant-Ex Can Help You Gain A Competitive Advantage

The population are becoming increasingly concerned with their health and fitness, as a result alcohol consumption is on the decline; the number of non-drinkers has increased from 16% to 20% between 2011 and 2021 (1) and more than 1 in 4 consumers want to reduce the amount of alcohol they drink in 2024 (2).

Despite being a trend that can be seen amongst all market segmentations, young people are ditching the drink faster than the rest with 38% of 18-24 year olds stating that they do not drink alcohol (compared to just 15% of 55-74) (1).

Consequentially, there has been a spike in the popularity of low and no alcohol drinks; products using this positioning have a +20.69% CAGR (3). Again, they are most popular amongst young people with 44% of drinkers aged 18-24 saying that they regularly or occasionally order low or no alcohol drinks (4).

This trend offers you the perfect opportunity to create NPDs using alcohol flavours. Keep reading to find out more and how Plant-Ex can help you…

Health Factors

Health seems to be one of the biggest factors driving this trend; both physical and mental health are negatively affected by excessive alcohol consumption.

The physical benefits of reducing alcohol consumption listed by the NHS include lower blood pressure, lower risk of stroke, hypertension, cancer and liver disease, lower cholesterol levels, better sleep quality, better memory and helps with weight management (5).

Furthermore, as alcohol is a depressant, consumption in large amounts can have detrimental effects on mental health – a factor that is seriously driving consumer’s changing drinking habits. With side effects such as anxiety, depression and low self-esteem (caused by guilt or shame) it is no wonder that consumers are looking to ditch or reduce their alcohol consumption. It is likely that COVID-19 catapulted this trend as the pandemic triggered a 25% increase in anxiety and depression amongst the population (6) and heightened the prevalence of health anxiety.

Cost Factors

Figure 1: Percentage Change in Cost Over 12 Months in Alcoholic Drinks (7)

Cost is the second largest factor causing people to reduce their alcohol consumption. It was found that the average drinker spends an estimated £62,899 on alcohol throughout a lifetime (8). With the cost of necessities such as rent, housing, bills and food going up, consumers are left with less disposable income. On top of that, inflation is causing the cost of alcoholic products to skyrocket (see Figure 1), leaving many with no choice but to sacrifice spending on alcoholic products.


However, despite cost being a driving factor for consumers reducing their alcohol intake, research show that products with low and no alcohol positioning tend to be more expensive than standard alcoholic beverages (9). This presents you with two opportunities in the world of food and beverage NPD that Plant-Ex Ingredients can help you with:

Figure 2 – Porter’s Generic Strategies to Achieve Competitive Advantage (10)

Strategy 1 – you can opt to gain a competitive advantage in the beverage marketplace using a focused differentiation strategy. This means targeting a niche market who are willing to pay a premium price for a product that caters to their unique needs; in this case, it would be consumers whose changing habits are motivated by health factors rather than cost.

The best application for this strategy would be a no/low alcohol beverage with premium branding, flavours and a premium price tag. Plant-Ex Ingredients can help you easily achieve beautiful flavour combinations suited to an innovative premium no/low alcohol beverage. Here’s some inspiration using our flavours:

Strategy 2 – you can opt to gain a competitive advantage in the food marketplace using a cost-focused strategy. This means targeting a niche but growing market with budget-friendly products; in this case, it would be identifying the opportunity to meet consumer demands for alcoholic flavours but in cheaper products.

This strategy offers you a plethora of exciting and creative applications e.g. confectionery, ice lollies, ice cream, bakery and sports nutrition. Here is some inspiration using some Plant-Ex flavours:

Our Flavours

Take a look at some of our alcohol flavours:

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