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Majestic reports surge in no/low sales

Published:  05 February, 2020

Majestic has reported booming sales of no/low beer and wine during last month boosted by ‘biggest ever’ dry January.

The drinks retailer said volume sales of no/low beer across its stores surged 312% in January compared to the same month last year, while no/low wine sales were up 52%.

Whilst one in 10 adult drinkers went entirely without booze during the month, according to Majestic, it seemed more and more consumers used the month to lower, rather than cut out entirely, their alcohol intake, it said.

The hike in no/low sales reflected the changing way in which many consume alcohol, said John Colley, chief executive, Majestic.

“There’s a definite sense that customers want to drink better, and understand what they’re consuming. They want to explore and appreciate what’s in their glass, and the alcohol content is incidental. It’s now essential we have an offering for everyone; whether you’re looking to cut back, drink better or go booze-free altogether,” he said.

While alcohol-free categories did “understandably well”, there were also signs that a move towards moderation could be a boon for some unexpected wine regions, said Majestic.  

It pinpointed Germany, where an appreciation for crisp white wine styles and lower alcohol strengths is leading to a renaissance, as one of the key regions set to benefit from this trend, with sales of wines from the region in the sub-8% abv category up 22% in January at Majestic.

Meanwhile in beers the story was much more focused around some of the industry’s most recognisable names, with the likes of Heineken and BrewDog all getting serious about low and no options, it said.  

Majestic also revealed it had seen an increase in sales around the ‘Try January’ counterculture, a movement within the wine industry to encourage consumers to branch out into more esoteric or unusual grapes and regions.

The highlights included an increase in sales for Alsace (up 23%), Sherry (up 18%) and rosé from across Europe, excluding France, up 58%.

“Wine is now the UK’s most popular drink and that, alongside a trend for drinking less but better, can make this a really exciting next chapter for the industry. It’s a trend which we’re certainly looking to embrace at Majestic,” said Colley.

Taking that consumer-lead movement, and finding ways to introduce Majestic’s customers to “a whole new world of wines, is an exciting challenge we can’t wait to meet”, he added.

Majestic comprises a network of over 190 stores across Britain, plus two in France.