NutraCast: Eat Beyond's Michael Aucoin on sober culture

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By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

NutraCast: Eat Beyond's Michael Aucoin on sober culture

Related tags nutracast functional beverages adaptogen

We just entered 2022, and for many, it’s Dry January, which is ditching alcohol in the first month of the New Year to drink less or perhaps "detox" from going a bit overboard with drinking over the holidays. While this is one month for some, it has turned into a lifestyle for others. Daydream, Eat Beyond’s portfolio company, recently created a sparkling water-infused beverage with hemp extracts and adaptogens to keep up with that demand for no alcohol.

Michael Aucoin, CEO of Eat Beyond, said the low to no alcohol trend emanated from a few consumer concerns. 

“There's certainly an underlying health issue with alcohol consumption, particularly regular, excessive alcohol consumption that people are cognizant of. Pre-pandemic, in the last 10 or 15 years, we saw the emergence of mixology culture, but a lot of people who weren't maybe interested in consuming alcohol weren't able to participate. And then we see a lot of innovation in low alcohol, or zero alcohol beverages, that have allowed people to replicate that kind of consumption experience without necessarily triggering some of the negative effects of alcohol. Concomitant to that is something people would have used, whether appropriately or not, alcohol for self-medication on mental health issues and these kinds of things. We now know how adaptogen beverages allow people to find a possibly healthier way to self-medicate around that and achieve the desired mental health outcomes,” ​said Aucoin. “So I think all of those elements have really driven that curiosity around low alcohol, no alcohol beverages in that sober curious lifestyle.”

According to Fior Markets, the global functional beverages market is expected to grow from $125 billion in 2020 to $ 216 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 7%.

To learn more about specific benefits consumers are looking for, how the pandemic has impacted this movement and predictions for the future of low and no beverages, listen to the NutraCast. 

You can also subscribe on iTunes​, Spotify ​, Stitcher​ and wherever you get your podcasts.

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