Bacardi forecasts 400% growth in low-ABV sector by 2024

16th December, 2020 by Nicola Carruthers

Bermuda-based Bacardi expects the retail sales value of the no- and low-alcohol ‘spirits’ category in Western Europe to reach US$500 million over the next four years.

Bacardi’s Less is More campaign seeks to drive awareness of the firm’s no- and low-alcohol products

Bacardi, owner of brands such as Dewar’s Scotch whisky and Grey Goose vodka, made the prediction based on data from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. The sector’s retail sales value in Western Europe was US$100m in 2020.

Bacardi said the mindful drinking movement continues to gain traction across the globe, particularly in Western Europe. The lockdowns and restrictions in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic have accelerated its growth, the firm noted.

Bacardi said there has been a 30% increase in Google searches for non-alcoholic drinks in the UK, and a 25% rise in Germany for the same search, compared with last year.

Brenda Fiala, global vice president, strategic insights and analytics for Bacardi, said: “What really stands out in our insights is just how huge mindful drinking has become in Western Europe this year (compared to last year). It is becoming the ‘nolo capital of the world’.

“As lockdown impacted our lives and routines, not only did people begin to seek out lower-ABV cocktails, they also began enjoying cocktails a little earlier than usual and began experimenting with longer drinks and alcohol-free options. That meant mindful drinking really took off and it’s here to stay.”

According to research by Bacardi, more than a third (36%) of consumers across the UK, France and Germany are planning on enjoying cocktails more sensibly during December.

Furthermore, participation in a ‘dry-ish’ January next month is set to reach its highest level. A survey by Prospectus Global of 1,000 UK adults found nearly half (48%) of consumers plan to participate. Meanwhile, 24% of 3,800 alcohol drinkers in Germany, surveyed by market research firm Civey, said they would take part.

Less is More campaign

The forecast has been released ahead of Bacardi’s new mindful drinking campaign next month, which will aim to help retailers, bars and e-commerce tap into the US$500m sales opportunity.

The Less is More campaign will look to drive awareness of Bacardi’s ‘mindful drinking’ range, including Martini’s non-alcoholic aperitivos, Martini Fiero vermouth (14.9% ABV) and St-Germain elderflower liqueur (20% ABV).

Marine Rozenfeld, innovation development lead for Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand at Bacardi, said: “We know people are stepping up their cocktail game with premium spirits, putting quality over quantity, and at the same time are intrigued by the explosion of new alcohol-free ‘spirits’ available to choose from.

“Now it’s about taking them further on the journey of exploration. From Martini non-alcoholic cocktails to longer drinks like the St-Germain Spritz and the Martini Fiero and tonic, we want to help give people the tools and know how they need to drink mindfully. Our message is very simple – ‘less is more’ – more taste, more experience.”

The new campaign has two key focuses – visibility and education. The initiative will flag no- and low-alcohol options for drinkers, bartenders and retailers in an ‘engaging and easy-to-understand’ way.

As part of the move, Bacardi will provide menu cards and editable templates to on-trade venues, offer leaflets and standout point-of-sale displays in stores, and host sampling sessions across the off-trade, and in bars when they reopen.

Furthermore, Bacardi will launch dedicated Amazon gift stores in the UK, Germany and Spain featuring drinks recipes, and raise awareness of its non-alcoholic Martini range on social media in select markets.

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