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

Low and no sales on the rise

Published:  07 September, 2020

Sales of low- and no-alcohol drinks are up 30% year-on-year in the off-trade, with consumer spend on alcohol-free spirits hitting £5.4m, according to data from Nielsen.

The category as a whole, which includes low alcohol beers and wines, as well as spirits, is now worth £188m at retail. No-alcohol spirits is the fastest growing segment in the category, up 110% in 2019, but is also the smallest, contributing just £7.2m to the total.

Overall sales of alcohol-free spirits hit £37m last year, with the on-trade a key driver for growth.

“The number one reason people choose no/low is because they’re a driver, but sales have continued to grow in lockdown when you would expect to see fewer people driving, so there is evidence that people are moderating their alcohol intake,” Gemma Cooper, senior commercial business partner at Nielsen, told The Times.

It is estimated that there are around 70 no-alcohol spirits brands in the UK, up from zero in 2014.

Sales at Yorkshire-based Bax Botanics haven risen 20% since the lockdown in March.

Chris Bax, head distiller of Bax Botanics, said: “We started producing our first alcohol-free spirit because we felt that England had reached peak gin.

“Like with craft beers, consumers have more sophisticated palates than some people realise, and we expect to see strong support for smaller producers despite big drinks brands trying to muscle into the market.”

Consumption of alcohol in the UK has fallen by almost half during lockdown, despite sales in the off-trade rising by £1.9bn.