Eight discerning beer lovers, gathered just lately in Boston, had been so assured of their palates that they had been keen to do a style take a look at whereas sitting above an outside dunk tank crammed with frigid suds.
In the event that they failed to select the booze-free drink amid full-strength brews, into the icy liquid they’d go. Temperature on that specific day was a bone-chilling 15 levels.
Smack speak ensued: “I believe I can simply distinguish” between actual beer and non-alcoholic beer, one participant mentioned, whereas one other boasted, “I wager 100 bucks I can get it proper.”
The outcome? Seven tasters took a beer bathtub, with the moments of shiver-inducing reality captured in a 60-second video.
The stunt, orchestrated by Samuel Adams’ Simply the Haze, coincides with the annual Dry January temperance motion but additionally kicks off a longer-term advertising and marketing push for the nascent non-alcoholic model.
“We’re going all-in on non-alc—we’ve doubled our funding since final 12 months within the class,” Lauren Worth, director of selling, head of Samuel Adams model, informed Adweek. “It’s considered one of our massive pillars for the 12 months.”
The trouble features a TV spot starring the abrasive but beloved character “your cousin from Boston,” who takes half in a spotlight group and practically loses his thoughts when he likes the buzz-free Simply the Haze. The dunk tank content material, distributed on social and digital platforms, and TV marketing campaign come from Sam Adams’ company of file Goodby Silverstein & Companions.
Taken collectively, the experiential activation and media buys purpose to drive broader consciousness of two-year-old Simply the Haze and place it as a full-flavored, viable different to conventional craft beer.
Sudsy gross sales, Damp January
The time is ripe, since gross sales of non-alcoholic beer grew 20% at retail up to now 12 months, per Nielsen, and are anticipated to see near-double-digit will increase once more in 2023. The class’s world backside line might attain $40 billion by 2032, per GMI Insights, up from $22 billion in 2022. It makes up the lion’s share of booze-free booze, which incorporates spirits, wine and aperitif alternate options.
From 2019 to 2022, non-alc beer accounted for 37% of all searches for booze-free drinks, in response to Sample’s examine of client ecommerce conduct on Amazon. Extra broadly, the start of the 12 months is prime for the non-alcoholic class by way of on-line channels, per Sample, with client demand leaping 43% in January 2022 in comparison with the remainder of the 12 months.
In the meantime, practically one in 5 Individuals are taking part on this month’s problem to abstain from alcohol, in response to a Morning Seek the advice of ballot.
However as an alternative of Dry January, it’s extra like Damp January, with 47% of these shoppers planning to cut back their booze consumption reasonably than give it up utterly. (Per the 2023 Bacardi Cocktail Developments Report, 23% of millennials and Gen Z have gotten “blenders,” switching between full-strength and non-alcoholic drinks on the identical event).
“More healthy life are on the rise, persons are in search of one thing lighter and so they’re occupied with moderation and pacing themselves,” Worth mentioned. “Initially non-alc appeared prefer it was just for individuals who utterly abstain, however that’s not the case. Persons are consuming non-alc for a wide range of causes.”
Survival kits and chilly stunts
As soon as sleepy and forgettable, the non-alc beer class is now on fireplace, dominated by liquor behemoths like Heineken with its best-selling Heineken 0.0, a number of Anheuser-Busch InBev manufacturers and Molson Coors, together with specialty firm Athletic Brewing.
Each legacy and rising manufacturers on this phase have been flooding media channels with resolution-themed and party-within-reason messages this month. An upstart within the U.S., BrewDog dropped its Dry January Survival Package with 24 non-alcoholic beers, together with fan favorites like Nanny State and Punk AF, together with seasonal and limited-edition flavors.
Boston Beer Co.’s Sam Adams is attempting to make Simply the Haze stand out within the more and more crowded phase with stepped-up promoting and promotions, like its torturous (however enjoyable from arm’s size) dunk tank.
The model assembled critics, judges and different beer aficionados for the occasion, offering hand heaters, marathon blankets and different facilities to make their failure somewhat simpler to abdomen.
Risking hypothermia and humiliation, Worth even climbed into the tank herself…and couldn’t select Simply the Haze because the “imitator” within the bunch. She additionally took a beer bathtub. The one right guesser, by the way in which, was a Boston firefighter named Chris D’Alessandro.
“There’s a photograph of me getting dunked that my workforce actually loves,” Worth mentioned. “It was a humbling second.”