Four Pillars on the Non-Alc Bandwagon

June 10, 2022
By Melissa Parker

It’s appropriately called Bandwagon and is available in two classic Four Pillars styles, Bloody Bandwagon Shiraz and Bandwagon Dry, modelled in the original Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin.

It’s a timely initiative for the brand. Today 43% of adults already purchase no and low ABV drinks as an alternative to full alcohol products. The no and low category growth in Australia from 2020 to 2024 is expected to be 16%.

Endeavour Group Director Buying & Merchandise Tim Carroll said, “Customers are increasingly asking for alcohol-free options. Zero alcohol products remain one of the fastest-growing categories across our BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores; we’ve seen a 150 per cent increase in sales in the last 24 months.”

By 2024, the no and low-alcohol sector is projected to increase by 31 per cent outpacing the total alcohol category by 2025.

It’s an exciting trend globally driven by the sober curious rather than the abstainers, which only make up 23% of the no alcohol market in the US.

The market value of the no-and-low sector in 2021 in ten key global markets reached just under US$10 billion, up by 6% from US$7.8bn in 2018. The category now has a 3.5% volume share of the total alcohol sector. (IWSR Drinks Market Analysis Jan 2022) and points to the critical driver of the growth being the social element.

Mariana Fletcher, Head of Analytics US at IWSR, says, “No- and low-alcohol drinks provide the opportunity for consumers to feel like they belong in a social setting where alcohol is normally consumed. These drinks also provide options for those who want to enjoy the taste of traditional alcohol drinks, like a beer or a cocktail, while moderating their intake.”

“Brands that will ultimately dominate in the no/low space are those that are successful in navigating the barriers of taste, price, pack format, availability and overall consumer education,” says Emily Neill, chief operating officer of IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

Four Pillars uses the concentrated juice from the Shiraz grapes to create Bloody Bandwagon, while Bandwagon Dry is modelled on the original Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin.

Co-founder and distiller Cameron Mackenzie said, “When we launched in 2013, never in our wildest dreams did we think we would make a non-alcoholic product. But as we’ve grown older and wiser, booze is not always your go-to and you a need quality alternative.”

He attributes the warmth and weight missing from the alcohol retained by the heavier load of botanicals, so the citrus notes and the heat of the spice make these two Four Pillars alcohol-free spirits worthy as an alternative to the real thing.

Cameron suggests using 60 mL of Bandwagon Dry with 100 mL of tonic, plenty of ice, and a slice of orange to garnish for the perfect booze-free G&T.

Bandwagon Dry and Bloody Bandwagon will be available from the Four Pillars Gin Shops at the Four Pillars Healesville Distillery and Surry Hills Laboratory and from BoozeBud, Coles Local, Dan Murphy’s, IGA, Liquorland and Sans Drinks from 22 June. Bandwagon Dry will also be available from First Choice Liquor, Vintage Cellars, and Woolworths. RRP$50, 700ml

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