MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While many Americans consumed more alcohol during the pandemic, a growing number are now cutting back or abstaining altogether.
The sober and sober-curious now have an array of choices, with more zero-proof brands hitting store shelves.READ MORE: Florida School District Defies Gov. Ron DeSantis' Ban On Masks
Lily Geiger looked at her own drinking habits during the lockdown.
“I myself was just trying to kick the nightly glass of wine and really stop drinking and look for better options and came to realize that I just wanted to create my own,” she said.
Geiger got her brand off the ground in April, an alcohol-free aperitivo called Figlia.
“Similar to a Campari or Aperol, you kind of mix it in as something like a spritz, or you could top it with soda water,” Geiger said. “It tastes sophisticated, but I think it’s approachable to a lot of people, actually.”
Figlia is part of a booze-free boom.
According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, the volume of no-alcohol products in the U.S. increased 22.6% in 2020 and is forecasted to grow more than 23.2% over the next four years.READ MORE: State Senator Gary Farmer Says Governor’s Executive Order Preventing School Mask Mandates Is Unconstitutional
Barrie Arnold owns Boisson, a zero-proof bottle shop with two New York City locations that also launched during the pandemic.
“When we first started, we were basically begging some of these companies to send us the product,” he says. “Now we’re to the point, thankfully, that we’re getting five to 10 different companies reaching out to us. Some even drop the product by.”
There are more than 300 products from 70 different brands on the shelves at Boisson, proof that zero-proof isn’t a passing fad.
With names like Monday Gin and Sweet Reason, they channel their alcoholic cousins without the hangover.
And customers are buying.
Houston resident Megan Ebel said, “I went sober after coronavirus – so, six months – and I’m looking for a thing I can drink while out and with friends and not have to have booze.”
Booze-free bottlers say as long as consumers continue to make healthier choices, business is “bottom’s up.”MORE NEWS: President Biden Criticizes Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
This month is also “Dry July, “challenging people to abstain from alcohol and fundraise for cancer organizations.