The forward-thinking restaurant franchise is embracing the fast-growing uptake in low and no alcohol drinks by introducing its second menu of mocktails to complement its range of dreamy desserts, like a Baklava Tasting Plate, Chocolate & Hazelnut Doughnuts and Biscoff & White Chocolate Croffles (a croissant and waffle mashup), among other delights.
There is a general decline is alcohol consumption among UK consumers, with UK charity Drinkware reporting that almost nine million people pledge to give up the hard stuff for the month of January 2023. It’s a prevalent trend among younger generations and more than a quarter of British Gen Zs are now teetotal.
The early bird gets the worm
Heavenly Desserts actually responded to the drift last year by serving up an entire mocktail menu.
According to London area manager Wesley Williams, the mocktail is particularly popular among Londoners, with sales figures revealing the highest uptake among customers in Stratford, which churned out more than a quarter the company’s mocktail sales during 2021-2022.
“The low and no alcohol lifestyle is having a meteoric spike in popularity,” said Williams.
“As consumers become more health-focused and are facing cost of living pressures, the ability to enjoy cocktails without the negative impact or cost is allowing people to enjoy themselves while remaining responsible.”
Heavenly Desserts has noticed a huge return to the after-work drinks scene in London.
“So brands that are good at delivering that experience without the alcohol will certainly benefit greatly,” Williams added.
“We don’t just want to focus on evening mocktail drinking either. Our range of spring drinks taps into the iced coffee season and builds on the bubble tea boom.”
The all-round experience
Alcohol social responsibility watchdog Portman Group reported a 130% increase in low and no alcohol sales, up from £108m in 2018/19 to £255m this year.
“We’re noticing that in the hospitality industry, just being a restaurant isn't enough anymore – there are a lot of brands out there now offering fully-fledged experiences like us,” said Williams.
“In today’s economic climate – with news that 63% of people will cut back on dining out spending as energy bills continue to rise – it is so important that we ensure our offering is genuinely unique and innovative to entice our London customer base.”
Heavenly Desserts is also capitalising on the popularity of the ‘pornstar martini mocktail’ (160% increase in social media searches in the UK last year), responding with its own passion fruit martini iced drink.
Further embracing the Japanese-inspired flavour profile, Heavenly Desserts has released its springtime menu, including Cherry Blossom & Lychee Seltzer, Matcha & Pistachio Iced Latte and its signature Yuzu & Passion Fruit Tonic – designed to bring out the best of its heavenly desserts.
“They emphasise a summery feel and offer a refreshing alternative as the weather hots up,” said Williams.
“Cherry blossom is going to be the flavour that dominates this year and our flavour profiling shows that cherry blossom and lychee go well together, so we think that’s going to be a good seller.
“We’ve also partnered with the popular Little Moons mochi ice cream brand and will launch a pineapple Little Moons refresher. We’re always looking to be unique and dynamic – and leverage our partnerships – to really make the most of our drinks and desserts.”