Soft drink industry takes off as more Australians choose alcohol-free lifestyle

For a growing number of people, saying no to alcohol is not a “dry July” charity campaign, but a lasting lifestyle change, and companies are cashing in on the no-alcohol trend.

Adrian Allier was quick to realize the burgeoning business opportunities it presented. Last March, he opened Free Spirit Drink Co, Perth’s first 100 per cent non-alcoholic beverage store.

“From day one, it was mind-boggling how many people were really interested in this product and wanted to buy these products,” he said.

“We started the business with only 30 products, now we have more than 200.”

The owner of Perth's first soft drink store holds up bottles
Adrian Allier says that non-alcoholic beverage options have grown significantly in the last year or so.(Supplied)

Not only has the product range grown, but Mr. Allier has also noticed it in the demographics of the customer base.

“When we started the business, most of my clients were women,” he said.

“But in the last six months or so, because the beer market has taken off, we now have over 75 different non-alcoholic beers that we sell, and now we see more men starting to change their habits.”

More non-alcoholic beverage options

Michael Payne was part of this cohort that made a lifestyle change.

He stopped drinking alcohol in July 2020, but found non-alcoholic options lacking at the time. So he decided to take matters into his own hands, creating a non-alcoholic beer.

Michael Payne, owner of the non-alcoholic beverage brand LIghening Minds, holds up cartons of beer
Michael Payne found non-alcoholic beer options to be limited when he quit drinking in 2020.(Supplied: Lightening Minds)

He enlisted Matt Crockett, a brewer at Little Creatures Brewery, to help create the Lightning Minds pale ale last year.

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