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Low-alcohol trend proves popular in UK

On-trade sales of low- and no-alcohol drinks have risen by 48% in the UK over the last 12 months, according to a new report by data analyst CGA.

Low- and no-alcohol options are growing in popularity in the UK on-trade, new research shows

The report, called Understanding moderation in the on-trade, values the no-and-low-alcohol category as a £60-million-a-year sector in the UK on-trade – around US$78m. The study also showed the growth of non-alcoholic options alone grew by 80% during the same 12-month period.

Further findings from the report revealed almost one in three adults in the UK has tried a no- or low-alcohol beer, wine or spirit in the last six months, which equates to 15.5m consumers. An additional 8.9m people said they find the category appealing.

The findings were based on CGA’s exclusive Brand Track survey, which looked at the habits and views of 5,000 British adults.

Charlie Mitchell, CGA senior consumer research manager, said: “Our report shows there is huge potential for operators and suppliers to capitalise on the growing number of moderators.

“With even more people likely to cut back on booze after the Christmas excesses, producers, operator and suppliers are queuing up to jump on the opportunity with an ever-increasing range of no- and low-alcohol alternatives.

“With many consumers eager to trial them out of curiosity, along with the evident health drivers associated, the challenge will be to build loyalty and repeat trial in a market where it is increasingly hard to stand out.”

CGA said its report revealed “huge headroom for growth”, particularly with a new year on the horizon and the growing popularity of Dry January, a campaign that encourages consumers to give up alcohol for the first month of the year.

In 2019, more than four million Britons signed up to the Dry January campaign, and CGA predicts that number will rise in January 2020.

In order to capitalise on the growing no- and low-alcohol trend, CGA advised producers need to ensure their ranges, marketing and prices are “all on point”.

It also encouraged the on-trade to “blend new drinking choices with established consumer favourites to help drive volume”.

Last month, Seedlip founder, Ben Branson, said the non-alcoholic ‘spirits’ category must “weed out the copycats, the cheats” to ensure quality and consistency throughout the sector.

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