A spiritual connection with sober-curious Gen Z

By Jennifer Webb


‘Sober-curious’ in Gen Z refers to the trend of reducing or abstaining from alcohol consumption among young adults aged 18-24. It’s driven by a growing awareness of health and wellness, a desire to experiment with new and different experiences, and an interest in mindfulness and sobriety. Sober-curious implies Gen Z’s willingness to explore and try out sobriety, without necessarily committing to it completely. It reflects a shift away from traditional alcohol consumption habits, and a growing deep-rooted behavioural trend towards healthier and more mindful lifestyles that perfectly align with Gen Z’s personal values.

What we know about the sober-curious Gen Z and drinking behaviours

  • 63% of Gen Z consumers are trying to reduce their alcohol consumption, according to a survey by GlobalData.
  • 47% of Gen Z consumers believe that non-alcoholic spirits are a healthier alternative to traditional spirits, according to a survey by Nielsen.
  • 58% of Gen Z consumers are interested in trying non-alcoholic spirits, according to a survey by Nielsen.
  • 63% of Gen Z consumers are more likely to choose a drink based on its health benefits, compared to just 50% of Baby Boomers, according to a survey by Nielsen.
  • 45% of Gen Z consumers are motivated to reduce their alcohol consumption due to health concerns, compared to just 35% of Baby Boomers, according to a survey by GlobalData.
  • The non-alcoholic spirits market is expected to grow by 14.3% between 2020 and 2024, according to a report by Technavio.

For spirits brands, connecting with the next generation of consumers is key to long-term success. With the rise of the sober-curious movement among Gen Z, it’s essential to understand how to effectively engage this audience through digital and social media marketing.

Let’s explore the key factors that influence Gen Z’s perception of alcohol, and provide strategies for connecting with this audience in a meaningful and authentic way.

Understanding the sober-curious movement

In recent years, there has been a growing trend among Gen Z to seek out alternative, healthier ways of living. This includes a shift away from traditional alcohol consumption and towards more mindful and intentional lifestyles.

As a result, the sober-curious movement has emerged as a way for people to experiment with sobriety and explore the benefits of a sober lifestyle. For Gen Z, this often means seeking out alternative forms of socializing and entertainment, such as wellness retreats, mindfulness practices, and non-alcoholic drinks.

Embracing the values of the sober-curious movement

To effectively connect with sober-curious Gen Z audiences, it’s essential to embrace the values of this movement and align your brand with the goals and desires of this audience. This means promoting a healthy and mindful lifestyle, offering alternative non-alcoholic drinks, and promoting moderation and responsible drinking.

Providing genuine education and inspiration

Gen Z is a highly informed and educated generation, and they expect brands to provide them with the information and resources they need to make informed decisions about their health and wellness. This means being clear about the dangers of excessive drinking, open about spirit strength and discussing potential serves to make tastier, more conscious drinks.

Highlighting the social and environmental benefits of sobriety

For Gen Z, the decision to drink less is often driven by a desire to live a more conscious and sustainable lifestyle. This includes a focus on environmental sustainability and a desire to reduce their carbon footprint. As a spirits brand, it’s essential to highlight the e positive impact your brand is having on the world, whether this is through greener initiatives as part of the wider business, or a more sustainable supply chain.

Creating memorable and shareable experiences

Gen Z is highly connected and engaged on social media, and they expect brands to create memorable experiences that they can share with their friends and followers. This means offering unique and creative drinks, hosting events and parties, and creating memorable experiences that engage and entertain this audience.

Using influencer marketing to reach Gen Z

Influencer marketing has become an increasingly powerful tool for reaching Gen Z, and spirits brands can use this approach to effectively connect with this audience. By partnering with influencers who align with your brand values and promote a sustainable and mindful lifestyle, you can reach a wider audience and connect with Gen Z on a deeper level.

Leveraging social media to create a community

Gen Z is highly engaged on social media and values community and connection. By leveraging social media to create a community around your brand, you can build strong relationships with this audience and create a space for open and authentic conversations about sobriety and wellness.

Embrace gamification to create a unique brand experience

Gamification can be a powerful tool for reaching sober-curious Gen Z audiences, who are highly engaged with digital and social media. By incorporating game-like elements into your marketing efforts, you can create a more engaging and interactive experience for this target audience. This could include offering virtual tastings, interactive trivia games, or other activities that encourage consumers to learn about your products in a fun and entertaining way.

Not convinced gamification is right? Here 5 stats that demonstrate the effectiveness of games when attracting Gen Z to spirits brands:

  • 69% of Gen Z consumers believe that interactive, gamified experiences make them more likely to try new products, according to a survey by GamEffective.
  • 80% of Gen Z consumers say that they are more likely to stick with a product if it provides an engaging and fun experience, according to a survey by GamEffective.
  • Gamified experiences increase customer engagement by up to 75%, according to a survey by GamEffective.
  • 92% of Gen Z consumers believe that gamified experiences are more memorable than traditional advertising, according to a survey by GamEffective.
  • Gamified experiences increase brand loyalty by up to 20%, according to a study by the American Marketing Association.

Connecting with sober-curious Gen Z audiences through digital and social media marketing requires a deep understanding of their values, desires, and goals. By embracing the values of the sober-curious movement, providing education and resources, creating memorable, shareable experiences and partnering with the right influencers, you can create a unique Gen Z community for your drinks brand.

It’s game on!

At TrunkBBI we can support your drinks or FMCG brand with all of the above. But if you are looking for a quick-win that’s a truly engaging, exciting and high-performing form of brand engagement, find out how our strategy & gamification capabilities for Gen Z can effectively connect your brand with this young but highly important and influential buyer audience who are redefining drinking behaviours.

Curious about our gamification capabilities for the drinks sector? Get in touch by filling in the form below.

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