We knew this day was coming. Just as the "sober curious" movement has taken off, with more wellness-minded millennials steering clear of wine, beer, and spirits in favor of booze-free alternatives, the alcohol industry is fighting back — by reimagining itself as a healthy beverage category.
Yep, you heard that right: Alcohol wants a wellness makeover.
On the one hand, new brands are hitting the shelves, including Sufferfest Beer, which markets itself as a post-workout recovery drink. Then there's FitVine, a wine line that claims its product is made with fewer sulfites and less sugar than that of its rivals — along with no flavor additives or GMOs, of course.
These new companies may sound fresh and inventive to the fitness set, or they might also be regarded as silly marketing tactics. Some argue that labeling certain types of alcohol as "good" puts it on a pedestal over rival varieties that may not be warranted. This can be problematic from a body positivity standpoint, as well as from the perspective of science, since there's no guarantee this booze is actually better for you.
Meanwhile, bigger alcohol brands like Dogfish Head and Harpoon are pivoting to wellness, too, with the release of light beers. This seems like a natural extension, and we'll have to see if customers bite (or guzzle).
Speaking of rebranding, protein bars have long been considered a health food, but customers are realizing that some bars are packed with sugar and preservatives and can even have more saturated fat than a donut. Enter Perfect Bar, a preservative-free brand whose products can be found in the refrigerator aisle of grocery stores. Situating its bars next to milk and cheese is a gamble for the company, but one that could pay off in Perfect Bar's quest to make protein bars seen as healthy again.
Whether it's booze or bars, we're waiting to see if these rebranding efforts will appeal to wellness-conscious customers — or turn them off entirely.
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