Brands Are Redefining the Alcohol-Free Cocktail Experience


Dry January is turning into a dry lifestyle as more consumers choose better-for-you beverages over alcohol. 

Morning Consult conducted surveys on January 4-5, 2021, January 4-5, 2022 and January 4-5, 2023. In 2023, 24% of U.S. adults “say they’ve seen, read or heard at least some about” the Dry January campaign, an increase from 21% awareness in 2022. Thirteen percent of U.S. adults participated in Dry January in 2021, 19% in 2022 and 15% in 2023.

It’s not just Dry January that’s causing consumers to drink less alcohol. Nielsen IQ found that sales growth of alcohol-free beverages increased from 0.22% of total alcohol sales in 2018 to 0.47% in 2022. Global Market Insights also predicts the non-alcoholic drinks category to grow to $30 billion by 2025. 

With the growing demand for alternative beverages, many no and low alcohol brands have been making their debut. Launched in January of this year, NoliQ is one no-alcohol cocktail producer that’s been gaining momentum.

NoliQ’s Margnoliqa.

Curating Alternative Cocktail Options

A physician, triathlete and trainer turned mixologist, Nyina founded NoliQ to help advocate for healthier lifestyle choices. The beverages she creates draw inspiration from the African culture in Kenya, where Nyina was born and raised. 

“More people are becoming health-conscious and mindful about their drinking, leading them to reassess their relationship with alcohol and acknowledging the negative effects it may be having on their life and health,” Nyina says. “The increased availability of high-quality great-tasting alternatives, from RTD to zero-proof spirits to botanicals and functional drinks, is making it easier to embrace new consumption habits.”

Frustrated by the poor selection of alcohol-free drinks on the market, Nyina began creating her own booze-less cocktails with herbs and spices — some sweet with honey, others remixed bitter as lime, their website states.

Making an Impression

Since its inception since January, NoliQ has been seeing a steady influx of sales. The beverages are exclusively sold online and airgoods for wholesale. 

Nyina, founder of NoliQ.

“We officially launched in January with a high volume of sales, most likely attributed to Dry January and also the excitement of being a new brand,” Nyina states. “Since then, sales have been more steady with mostly repeat customers, which is fantastic to see!”

Since NoliQ beverages are currently only sold online, Nyina says getting their products into retail stores is a goal for the brand. 

“Establishing direct relationships with smaller retailers is a strategic priority for us at this stage, especially given the infancy of the industry,” she explains. “We are looking to build a direct relationship with store owners. They also seem to offer more flexible terms with inventory, promotional opportunities and personalized support.”

Until NoliQ enters the off-premise retail space, social media campaigns and influencer partnerships have helped spread brand awareness. Influencer partnerships, in particular, have helped to better target their audience. 

“We are also working locally in Atlanta with a PR agency focusing on cause marketing with organizations that align with our values and goals, creating joint marketing campaigns and sponsorships to reach new audiences,” says Nyina. 

The Future of Alcohol-Free Cocktails

With no signs of the better-for-you wellness beverage movement slowing down anytime soon, many in the industry, including Nyina, think this category will continue to skyrocket in popularity — especially as more brands make their way into the space. 

“The next year to two years will bring a lot more creative and innovative drinks,” she says. “I see more alcoholic brands offering NA versions. I see more regulations governing the production, labeling and marketing of non-alcoholic beverages. I look forward to seeing where it grows!”