Americans are falling out of love with alcohol, and a new movement known as the “sober curious” is focused on furthering that decline. As Americans become more wary of the health impacts of alcohol, along with an increased focused on personal well being, alcohol has seen a steady decline in sales while non-alcoholic variants are on the rise.
To be clear, the decline of alcohol is a slow and steady process, rather than a sharp drop. The decline is largely being seen in beer, which in 2018 accounted for 78.3% of total US alcohol sales as per the IWSR, a drinks market analysis firm. 2018 also saw the third straight year of decline of total alcohol sales, with volumes declining 0.9% last year, compared to a 0.7% decrease exhibited in 2017.
Alcohol sales are also trending towards distilled spirits and other product variants, which saw a 1.9% increase in sales over 2018, while mixed beverages saw an increase of 6.1% on a year over year basis. The increase in mixed beverages is attributed to the perception of generally being healthier for consumption than that of other alcohol based products.
The decline in alcohol sales is starting to hit brewers as well in a significant way. Molson Coors, whom reported financials last week identified that net sales revenues were down 3.2% on a quarter over quarter basis for the third quarter. Declining revenues within the alcohol market has lead the brewer to refocus operations and reduce its workforce by 400 to 500 employees while restructuring as a cost saving measure.
The sober curious movement, first coined in 2018, is taking aim at the notion of non-alcohol consumption being a result of a prior addiction or virtue-signalling. Rather, it aims to redefine what it means to not consume alcohol based beverages when out with friends and to remove the social expectation of alcohol consumption at events. And its catching on – the instagram hashtag #SoberIsSexy has had over a half million tags by users as of late, demonstrating that there is a growing discontent with alcohol consumption and its connotations.
The movement is also focusing on refining the health and wellness aspect of alcohol. The common belief that red wine or certain spirits provide health benefits has seen waning support in recent years, and alcohol was found to have been a leading cause of premature death in men and women between the ages of 15 and 49 worldwide in 2016. It is believed that it accounted for nearly one in ten premature deaths during the year.
While divisions exist among those who follow the movement on whether or not alcohol should be consumed at all, the general consensus is that less consumption, in any amount, is best. The main proprietors behind the movement are careful not to classify it as being “forbidden”, as doing so tends to make certain individuals want to consume alcohol more. Rather, people are free to make their own decisions on whether or not to target complete sobriety.
Tinley Beverage (CSE: TNY) has taken notice of this trend, and the opportunity it presents. The firm has recently taken steps to capitalize on the desire of Americans to find non-alcoholic variants of their favorite alcohol-inspired concoctions. Thanks in part to their efforts to recreate alcohol-based drinks with cannabis, the firm is in a prime position to capitalize on the sober curious trend via a new product line known as Beckett’s.
Beckett’s was devised as a result of the trend retailers and brewers are seeing towards less alcohol consumption. Retailers are feeling the slump in their pocketbooks, and thus are wanting to take advantage of the new opportunity that sober curious provides. While those that consume less alcohol are doing so for health or other concerns, that doesn’t mean they aren’t after a good tasting beverage. By providing what amounts to essentially a non-alcohol beverage, with the same flavour profile of that of alcohol-based concoctions, consumers are less likely to feel like they are missing out.
This is where Tinley’s products fit the bill: it’s cannabis infused “tonic” beverages are gluten-free, non-gmo, vegan, contain minimal sugar and offer only 30 calories per bottle. Yet, they taste great and manage to contain the same flavour profiles of popular alcohol beverages, such as a flying mule or margarita. The ’27 collection also offers elixirs akin to popular alcohol liquors, such as amaretto and fireball – labelled as almond and cinnamon cask respectively.
For the Beckett’s line of product, Tinley Beverage simply skips the cannabis infusion portion of manufacturing. The result is a sober curious targeted product that aims to capture the trend of declining alcohol use. The similar packaging meanwhile enables the consumer to be aware of the fact that if they wish to opt for an intoxicating variant of the product, they can still avoid alcohol consumption and instead opt for cannabis and its related health benefits through the Tinley line of products.
Distribution of this new product is ideally positioned as well. The Beckett’s brand and its multiple lines of products have already been accepted into 150 BevMo! locations across the west coast of the US, with distribution and sales expected to begin before the start of the 2019 holiday season. Beckett’s will go head to head with its alcohol-infused counterparts, offering a healthier solution for consumers in terms of both calorie intake as well as being alcohol free.
Sober curious is part of the larger trend of health conscious consumers whom are focused on overall wellness of body and mind. Tinley’s foray into the sober curious market is ideally positioned to capitalize on the burgeoning trend, offering a comparably healthier product than that of its alcohol-infused peers.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Tinley Beverage is a client of Canacom Group, the parent company of The Deep Dive. The author has been compensated to cover Tinley Beverage on The Deep Dive, with The Deep Dive having full editorial control. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security.
As the founder of The Deep Dive, Jay is focused on all aspects of the firm. This includes operations, as well as acting as the primary writer for The Deep Dive’s stock analysis. In addition to The Deep Dive, Jay performs freelance writing for a number of firms and has been published on Stockhouse.com and CannaInvestor Magazine among others.