By Clare Goggin Sivits On February 18, 2024

Why’s Non-Alcohol Marketing So Easy?

When it comes to liquor marketing, distilleries and other spirits brands navigate endless mazes of regulations, limitations and public scrutiny. Each time a marketer weaves or ducks around another challenge, it’s a harsh reminder that marketing non-alcoholic beverages can be a far easier job.

Since we’ve worked with a variety of brands across the craft beverage segment, we’ve seen for ourselves the reasons why non-alcoholic marketing feels so much easier. While the industry has its own set of challenges, it’s like a cakewalk compared to all the barriers we have to bridge on alcohol marketing projects.

Even distilleries already producing spirits can take advantage of some of these simple strategies when they add non-alcoholic products to the existing lineup. If you’re curious what some of these easy marketing tricks non-alcoholic brands are already taking advantage of, read on.

Gen Z-Plus Audience

For a few years now, the spirits industry has been lamenting the shrinking consumer base for liquor and how Gen Z seems less interested in spending on booze. Non-alcoholic brands don’t share that concern. In fact, Gen Z is actively seeking out non-alcoholic craft beverages — especially those that offer a functional benefit.

Not only do non-alcoholic marketers have Gen Z’s attention but the audience overall is broader. Consumers of any age group could be customers. Of course, a brand needs to narrow down its target audience but marketers have a wide open field to start from. Anyone from teens to Boomers is fair gamezh drxrhd. There’s more opportunity to tap into a growing audience for your product.

In some ways having to identify a target market from such a wide-reaching range could be a bit of a challenge. If you need a hand narrowing down the right demographics and interests of your target market, we can help with that!

No Tied House Laws

Those tricky tied-house laws really throw a curve ball for any spirits marketer hoping to boost product sales at a retailer. Nationally, distilleries and other alcohol brands have to tiptoe around promoting retailers. In some states, like California, the laws get even more restrictive. But, remove the alcohol, and you don’t have to wrestle with those regulations.

While marketing non-alcoholic beverages is not regulation-free, tied house laws don’t apply. So those marketers have a bit more freedom to feature and promote retailers where you can buy their products. It relieves that little bit of extra stress around trying to sell products.

If you’re not sure what regulations your brand has to follow to meet compliance, we can help you figure that out through our consulting services.

FDA Not TTB

Non-alcoholic beverages swap one federal agency for another. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau doesn’t have jurisdiction over these products. So the time-intensive process of running labels through the TTB approval process is no longer a requirement for those non-alc products.

Instead, alcohol-free marketers have to spend time getting the Food and Drug Administration to approve labels. It’s an entirely different set of requirements, mostly centering around nutritional information. It can be tricky but at least you’re not trying to find space for the Surgeon General’s Warning.

We have experience dealing with both label approval processes. If you’re lost, give us a call and we’ll give you a hand.

Fewer Regulations Overall

Advertisers aren’t dealing with widespread bans. Industry standards don’t force you to avoid certain social media platforms because of the average user age. And researchers aren’t publishing study after study that suggests your product is poison. Marketers aren’t bobbing and weaving around endless limitations or having to perform constant reputation management efforts.

Having so much freedom to market the product may be the reason why this space is booming. Low and non-alcoholic brands are facing more and more competition every day. A recent article observed a 70% increase in brands available online (through Drizly before it was shut down) since 2021. That’s a lot of brands to compete with.

If you need a marketing strategy that helps you stand out among the crowd, we can help you put that together. Give us a call.

Marketing Additional Health Benefits

Without that General Surgeon’s warning on the label, non-alcoholic brands get a bit more room to make positive health claims — or other functional claims. Perhaps the beverage includes caffeine or CBD. The marketer gets to actively promote those benefits without worrying it will raise red flags with the feds.

Obviously, any claim put forward by a brand needs to be true. The Federal Trade Commission still insists on truth in advertising and you might want to avoid making any claims that could get you sued.

When you need the right balance of promoting health benefits and toeing the legal line, we can help you find it. Drop us a line.

More Accessibility on Social Media

Brands that don’t have alcoholic products to promote can be on TikTok without worrying about the age range of the typical user. They can even jump onto the next big platform where Gen Z is still the dominant demographic. There’s no concern that an adult beverage could be marketed to those who can’t legally consume it. So those brands can stay right on top of all those social media trends.

As a bonus, non-alcoholic beverage marketers can work with a wider range of influencers too. Again, that requires brands to follow the FTC requirements for influencer marketing but at least you don’t have to turn down influencers with an audience that trends a bit younger.

Getting started on social media with your beverage brand? We’ve helped brands across the beverage spectrum gain followers and make an impact so talk to us.

E-commerce No-Brainers

It is fully and absolutely legal to ship a non-alcoholic beverage. The United States Postal Service won’t blink an eye at it and neither UPS nor FedEx have policies against it. So why wouldn’t you set up an e-commerce site?

Of course, there are challenges to any e-commerce business. That can include warehousing, fulfillment and other logistics considerations that can be hard to manage. Additionally, collecting shipping information from customers puts brands on the hook for better online security measures. It’s a lot to deal with but could be worth the investment if you can find your customers online.

Brands considering an e-commerce business should explore all the requirements and challenges with someone who has experience in that arena. That’s us — give us a call.

Embrace Dry Seasons

Dry January and Sober October don’t herald sales drops for no and low-alcohol brands. In fact, they could be a boon to business. These and other dry seasons during the year can be treated as promotional opportunities and smart marketers will take advantage of them with a special campaign.

We can help craft beverage brands across the spectrum deal with all the challenges and more. Contact us so we can start working with you on a non-alcoholic beverage branding strategy today.

Clare Goggin Sivits

As a marketer with a strong writing background, Clare Goggin Sivits has worked in the beer, spirits, and wine industries for nearly a decade. She oversaw digital marketing for a small wine startup as well as a craft brewery and distillery with a nationwide footprint. A Florida ex-pat, Clare now lives in Portland, Oregon, and continues to write about craft beverage marketing and the industry as a whole.

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