More than 50% of UK drinkers have tried low-alcohol, survey shows

More than 50% of alcohol drinkers claim to have tried a low-alcohol product, but a further 13% say they do not recall seeing one available for sale anywhere, according to a survey conducted by YouGov for The Portman Group.

The latest survey from the alcohol social responsibility body shows that 59% of alcohol drinkers have tried a low-alcohol product, which in this case refers to drinks with an abv of above 0.05% and up to 1.2%.

Almost a quarter (23%) of those who drink said that they had or were likely to consider switching some of their drinking to lower alcoholic options in the next six months, which is a similar figure to last year’s survey, showing that public interest in low alcohol options has not waned.

Again, the intention to switch is being led by younger drinkers, with almost one in ten (9%) of 18 to 24-year-olds saying they had already switched the majority of their drinking to lower alcohol options.

However, 30% of British adults who drink alcohol in an average week say they have yet to try a lower alcohol product and 13% of all adults do not recall seeing a low alcohol option available for sale anywhere.

The survey also highlights “a significant gap between the public’s desire for wider availability of lower alcohol alternatives beyond pubs and supermarkets”, for example in restaurants and nightclubs.

Portman Group chief executive, John Timothy, said: “It is great to see the British public continuing to embrace low alcohol products as a way to continue to drink responsibly and make healthy choices. Across all age groups, but especially younger adults, we are seeing people adapt low alcohol alternatives to help moderate their alcohol intake or make responsible choices such as being able to drive home.

“However, while producers continue to heavily invest in the sector, our research shows more work needs to be done to support its growth. We believe in broader consumer choice and would like to see a low and no alcohol option available in a wider range of outlets. The UK Government should also tackle the current array of confusing product descriptors to give consumers greater clarity about what they are purchasing.”

The Portman Group highlighted innovation in this area from its member companies, including Bacardi's alcohol-free drink under its Martini brand (Martini 0.0% Dolce); Budweiser's commitment that no and low-alcohol beer products will represent at least 20% of its global beer volumes by the end of 2025; Carlsberg said it aims to offer an alcohol-free alternative wherever its alcoholic options are sold by 2022; Diageo has invested in Seedlip and also launch ultra-low Gordon's Gin & Tonic flavoured drink; Heineken has partnered with Club Soda to support mindful drinking festivals and it is looking to roll out Heineken 0.0% draught beer' Molson Coors has a range of no and low products and it is expanding listings for these; and Pernod Ricard has Ceder's in its UK portfolio, which is a non-alcoholic alternative to gin. 

Related articles: