February 23 2023  |  Food & Beverage

Guest Column: Making low- and no-alcohol beverages part of the onboard industry

By Polly Magraw

Polly Magraw, the Event Director of World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo

With a new wave of steering away from alcohol, the travel industry understands that now, more than ever, it is essential to provide passengers with choices of low- and no-alcohol beverages.

Taking a break from alcohol has become a popular practice in recent years. Consumer habits are shifting, with many people choosing to switch to non-alcoholic drinks.

According to the Washington Post, sales of non-alcoholic beverages spiked by over 30 percent to $331 million in the last year. This trend is visible across many markets, specifically within the onboard sector. Now is the perfect time for airlines to jump on the bandwagon and invest in low and non-alcoholic drinks.

Airlines will regularly encounter people who are pregnant, controlling their alcohol intake, or simply not fans of drinking alcohol. With such a broad passenger demographic, non-alcoholic beverage catering should always be a priority for airlines.

Many global airlines offer non-alcoholic alternatives to cater to their customers who are abstaining from alcohol. Some carriers have temporarily suspended serving alcohol altogether or on certain flights only. Some airlines in the United States have decided to implement alcohol restrictions on their services due to an influx of rowdy passengers.

Aircraft based in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabian Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, and EgyptAir, fly alcohol-free to cater to the significant Muslim populations in these countries.

What are the low and non-alcoholic drink offerings?

Choosing which low or non-alcoholic beverages to invest in should be a crucial part of any menu selection. Below is an overview of some of the options available to airlines today.


This is a type of non-alcoholic drink that replicates the flavour of alcoholic cocktails, usually as a combination of sodas, juices, herbs, and infused syrups to create a unique and sophisticated taste profile. Mocktails are already being served by Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic.

Alcohol-Free Spirits

If you want to enjoy a drink with a delicious spirit flavour without alcohol, non-alcoholic spirits are the best choice. These are simply distilled drinks that contain low to no alcoholic content at all. This type of drink undergoes similar traditional distillation processes, which control the alcohol content.

Non-Alcoholic Beers

Beer can also be buzz-free. With an estimated valuation of $40 billion by 2032, investing in the non-alcoholic beer market is surely a no-brainer for airlines. There are a number of non-alcoholic beer options available to airlines including Heineken 0.0, Wellbeing Brewing, Budweiser Zero, Suntory All-Free, and Santa Clausthaler to name a few.

Non-Alcoholic Wines

Wines also come in alcohol-free variations and can be a suitable alternative. Worldwide demand for non-alcoholic wine has surged in recent years — and is expected to continue to increase at a CAGR of 10 percent from 2023 to 2033 — making it a must-have item on airline menus around the world. It is made using the same steps as traditional wine, but the alcohol is removed during the last part of the process. Some of the best non-alcoholic wines on the market include Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon, Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Riesling, Giesen Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Pierre 0% Rosé, and Töst to name a few.

What airlines have these offerings?

Check out just some of the airlines that offer non-alcoholic drink options:

Cathay Pacific

Its signature drink, Cathay Delight, can be served as a mocktail or paired with the passenger’s choice of alcohol. The drink is composed of milk, coconut milk, kiwi juice, and mint leaves. Another mocktail from Cathay Pacific is the Oriental Breeze, which is a blend of sour plum tea, cranberry juice, lemon juice, honey, and rosewater, garnished with a dried rosebud.


The flagship carrier of Finland provides its clients with flavorful juices and mocktails, with the blueberry juice drink being the most popular order. The Finnair-branded blueberry juice is even available in selected Finland supermarkets.


One of the two flag carriers of the UAE offers several mocktail options, including an Apple Spritzer, a Virgin Cucumber Gimlet, and an Orange Fizz, which is a mix of ginger ale and orange juice.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways serves the world’s first luxurious non-alcoholic sparkling drink, which is the So Jennie premium, non-alcoholic rosé. Other mocktails available onboard are Pineapple Margarita, Orangeade, Pineapple Punch, Spiced Tomato Juice, and Apple Cooler.

Malaysia Airlines

Business class passengers can enjoy Malaysia Airlines’ signature mocktail, Wau Emas. The non-alcoholic drink contains tart pineapple juice, pandan syrup, and effervescent soda water.

Virgin Atlantic

This British airline carries a unique low- and no-alcohol cocktail menu onboard. This includes The Bold Spritz, which is a combination of soda, lemon, and Regal Rogue Bold Red vermouth, as well as the Shepherd’s delight, which is a mix of Fever Tree ginger ale, Seedlip Spice, and a lemon slice.

United Airlines, Inc.

This major American airline offers different types of non-alcoholic beverages, including a selection of Seagram's® products such as Ginger Ale, Seltzer Water, Tonic Water, and AHA Orange Grapefruit Sparkling Water.


The Taiwanese international airline’s inflight beverage bar serves two types of mocktails. One is the Amber Dream which is made of ginger ale, apple juice, and cranberry juice. The other one is Sonata in the Air, which consists of Sprite, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice.

WTCE Exhibitors offering low- and no-alcohol drinks

So Jennie Paris

In 2011, Jennie Kergoat-Ruelland was organizing a princely wedding in Abu Dhabi when she realized the lack of non-alcoholic drink options in the market. This is where the spark to produce alcohol-free sparkling wines started. She spent several months developing and refining the right formula, and eventually, So Jennie Paris was born. The business offers 0 percent alcohol sparkling wines that are low in calories.

&Stirred Cocktail Mix

This company prides itself on offering consumers’ favourite low- or no-alcohol drinks in a tetra pack. Customers can easily drink wherever and whenever they prefer, plus, its products are available in a pitcher size, allowing them to easily be shared with family or friends. Its instant mocktails include the mountain mojito, classic colada, and mango colada. Cocktail mixes like the Cosmopolitan, margarita, and whisky sour are also available.

Lockdown Liquor Co

The company is an award-winning premium blended cocktail business, but it also offers non-alcoholic blends in its product offerings. It provides customers with a liquor-free version of the classic Forest Picante, as well as the company’s exclusive non-alcoholic take on the Seaward Pepino drink. Its beverages are crafted by expert mixologists.

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