Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Falling UK alcohol consumption driving premiumisation, Mintel finds

Published:  11 July, 2019

As many as 20% of UK adults now do not drink alcohol, according to the latest British Lifestyles report from Mintel. At the same time, 47% of those who do drink alcohol have cut back their consumption.

But Britain’s drinkers are increasingly prepared to spend more on what they do drink, with overall sales of alcohol up by 5.5% in the year to November 2018, the period covered by the report. Total annual sales now stand at £21.8 billion.

The shift in drinking patterns is also driving change in the soft-drinks sector, with sales up 15.4% between 2013 and 2018 to an estimated £11.3 billion pa. Adult soft drinks is one of the fastest growing soft drinks categories.

Jack Duckett, associate director of Consumer Lifestyles Research at Mintel, said: “The fact that so many Brits are cutting down on the amount of alcohol they drink has proven to be a boon for soft drinks brands. The industry has helped to further drive this demand by launching a raft of new soft drinks - using more sophisticated packaging and flavour profiles to help secure a ‘grown-up’ audience.”

The report also found that UK consumers are increasingly attracted to the experience economy. Some 65% of adults would rather spend money on experiences than possessions, a figure that rises to 72% among millennials.

The leisure market is expected to grow from £34.3 billion to £40.3 billion over the next five years, according to the report.

Duckett said: “The unquenchable consumer enthusiasm for experience-led activities continues to help drive growth in the leisure market. Our research shows that experiences that tap into the booming health and wellness trend are amongst the most popular. But it is undoubtedly the more unusual that carry the greatest value as the young, in particular, look for unique experiences that they can share on social media.”

Overall, the report finds that UK consumers are increasingly driven by three key factors: the experience economy, health and wellness, and the desire to be more ethically conscious and eco-friendly.