Gen Z’s Plan 0.0% Christmas    

New research reveals that Irish Gen Zs are more likely to partake in an alcohol-free Christmas.

The research, commissioned by Musgrave MarketPlace, shows that the younger generation is leading the way when it comes to growth of the zero-alcohol category, choosing alcohol substitutes to get into the party spirit rather than an all-or-nothing approach to Christmas festivities.

While almost a third of the whole nation agreed a zero-alcohol option is a good way of feeling involved when driving on a night out, it’s only the 18 to 24-year-olds who are actively trying to drink less when reaching for a zero-alcohol drink, with 30% doing so for health reasons or to avoid ending up hungover.

Zero-alcohol beer and mocktails are the most popular beverages across the nation, with 18 to 34-year-olds opting for the fruity, easy to drink mocktails, which still let them feel a sense of celebration and get their party on.

Conversely, the research showed that a quarter of all Irish adults still can’t see any occasion where they would opt for the alcohol-free option, with 56.5% of over 55s in particular claiming they wouldn’t drink an alcohol-free beverage.

This was also the age group that felt the least confident to do so in the company of others who were taking alcohol. The 35 to 44 age group said they would feel the most confident to go alcohol-free on a night out, but interestingly, their intentions to do so this Christmas didn’t mirror this confidence.

Ken Allan, Head of Beverage at Musgrave MarketPlace, said:

"The Irish market has seen significant growth of 11.2% in the low- and no-lager category this year, generating €22.4m in sales to September this year according to CGA figures. Incredibly, our growth figure vastly outperforms the market, with the low- and no-alcohol category growing by 141% year to date. This is due to on-trade trends like consumers switching to non-alcohol options due to health reasons, as well as the introduction of several draught options in the category.

"Our research today shows Gen Z are really leading the way in terms of the zero-alcohol category with an appetite for tasty, premium, alcohol-free options that still allow them to feel like they’re celebrating and enjoying a special moment or just letting their hair down, albeit in a non-traditional way.

"We know this generation to be unafraid of treating themselves with premium purchases, but who also look after their bodies and minds with healthier options, be that food, drink and mental and physical wellbeing, so it’s no surprise they’re making waves and driving innovation and creation within this burgeoning category."