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Consumer interest in no and low products surging

Published:  05 January, 2022

One in three UK drinkers now regularly choose low or no alcohol brands, according to a new survey commissioned by the Portman Group.

The fourth annual online YouGov study discovered that UK drinkers are increasingly prioritising low and no alcohol products all year round, moving beyond the paradigm of abstinence at the start of the year.

According to its findings, almost one in three (32%) UK drinkers now ‘semi-regularly’ consume low and no alcohol products compared to one in four (25%) in 2020.

Furthermore, a fifth (20%) of those who have tried low and no alcohol say they are more likely to drink these products now compared to a year ago, almost double the number saying this in last year’s survey (11%).

The reasons given for this move into low-alcohol alternatives varied greatly. The most popular motivation for consumers was ‘being able to drive home from social events’ (chosen by 33% of respondents).

Reducing the possibility of health concerns or current medical reasons were also cited by 22% of consumers. The other main reason was 'to socialise without drinking excessively', cited by 20% of all respondents, whilst 12% explicitly stated they currently alternated low and no products with regular strength alcohol to moderate their overall consumption.

The survey also uncovered that over a quarter (26%) of those who have tried low and no alcohol brands report that their subsequent weekly alcohol has decreased since they first tried it. These results indicate that low and no alcohol could be an effective tool for people looking to moderate drinking.

Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group, commented: “As these positive findings show, there has been a big increase in drinking low and no during the pandemic, indicating that many UK drinkers have looked to moderate their alcohol consumption by swapping with non-alcoholic options. These figures show the fruits of large industry innovation and investment into the sector over the past decade to provide consumers with an array of lower alcohol options.”

Fieldwork for the survey was undertaken on 9-10 December 2021 and involved a total sample size of 2,079 adults. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).