Mocktails get a makeover as consumer demand rises

The last few years have seen a significant rise in mocktails on menus as operators get creative with non-alcoholic beverages to meet the growing consumer demand. As 57 per cent of global consumers plan to participate in Dry January, restaurants need to look at their menus for opportunities to add in items that will satisfy guests while boosting their guest cheque totals.

On TikTok, the hashtag #mocktails has over one billion views, which shows that there is a significant interest in this sector of the market. So, what’s important to customers when they’re ordering mocktails off your menu?

The experience

Customers ordering non-alcoholic beverages are not looking for water or soda, they still want that “cocktail experience,” rather than these options being an afterthought for operators as a way to cater to designated drivers. Crafting creative options that taste delicious, appear stylish, and offer guests the opportunity to try something new is the way to go.

Create a menu that’s just for mocktails to show customers that these items have a special place at your restaurant and that they are part of that special guest experience.

The classics

While customers are always looking to try something new, many guests are looking for an elevated non-alcoholic version of their favourites. Virgin mojitos, Moscow mules, pina coladas, bloody Marys, and Arnold Palmers top the list of today’s must-have mocktails. Studies show that consumers want familiar flavours with a more complex twist, as modern takes on the classics lead the mocktail movement. Fresh takes on old favourites seem to appeal to the consumers’ sense of nostalgia, as well as their desire to lower their alcohol consumption.

RELATED: Nostalgia remains a popular menu theme

The ingredients

Many consumers are motivated to lower their alcoholic intake as a step towards a healthier lifestyle, and when mocktails claim health benefits, these “functional beverages” reach the next level.  Beyond keeping people hydrated, many of today’s mocktails include health-boosting ingredients, like kombucha, ginger, and antioxidants like blueberries, adding some health benefits to these beverages and appealing to guests’ desire to make healthier choices.

The mocktail movement appears here to stay, so restaurants need to cater to this market with a menu of non-alcoholic beverages that boast healthy ingredients, include alcohol-free favourites, and use creativity to pique diner interest.