Non-Alcoholic Drinks Reign Supreme In Yelp's 2023 Food Predictions

In 2021, a study from global marketing research firm Nielsen showed that non-alcoholic (or "zero-proof") beverage sales increased 33% in the span of 52 weeks, padding the $178 billion beverage industry with an extra $300 million. Per Insider, the firm also clocked a 315% increase in online sales of zero-proof and low-ABV beverage sales during that period. In 2022, booze-free botanical spirits are getting top-shelf treatment in bars and pop-ups aimed at providing a going-out experience without alcohol. 

According to Zero Proof Nation, over a dozen booze-free watering holes pepper the globe, from Brooklyn to San Francisco to Germany. In September, Eater reported on a Los Angeles alcohol-free pop-up hosted by Zero Proofed, calling it "just the latest in the zero-proof trend sweeping Southern California." What some might have initially billed as a post-quarantine wellness kick may be proving itself as an ongoing trend for those who want to redefine their relationship with drinking. According to Yelp's roundup of 2023 food predictions, zero-proof spirits are poised to be hotter than ever in the year ahead.

In it for the long haul

Sharing the stage with slushies, dirty sodas, and hojicha tea, Yelp predicts that mocktails will continue to reign supreme in 2023. Citing newfangled zero-proof spirit brands helmed by the likes of Bella Hadid (whose company Kin Euphorics features tonics infused with adaptogens from mushrooms, per Insider) and Blake Lively, the crowd-sourced review outlet writes that it saw a 59% increase in searches for mocktails in 2022. 

Bloomberg likens the zero-proof trend to the millennial buzz around plant-based meat alternatives. Not only do animal-free and zero-proof products share a wellness component, but they also appeal to those looking to take "ethical and environmental implications" into consideration. As Carbon Trust's Tom Cumberlege told Vice UK in 2018 that "the higher the alcoholic content of a drink, the higher the carbon footprint per liter." Zero-proof drinks may require less water, and many brands tend to favor sustainable packaging. According to Wirecutter, the booze-free aperitivo brand Figlia Fiore even donates a portion of its proceeds to the environmental organization 1% for the Planet. If you're hosting a New Year's Eve cocktail party, you might want to add some non-alcoholic bottles to your bar cart.