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Attitudes towards Low- and Non-alcoholic Drink - UK - August 2019

“The alcohol reduction trend looks to be here to stay. Encouraging moderation is on the government agenda, and cutting back on alcohol is also seen by consumers as offering various benefits, increasing its appeal. Crucially, the quality of the product is improving, meaning that switching to a low- or no-alcohol drink should come to no longer be seen as such a sacrifice.

We are seeing plenty of activity from craft brands and start-ups in this sector, and the commitment of many leading drinks conglomerates to supporting responsible drinking and driving growth of low-/no-alcohol drinks should add to the segment’s momentum.”

– Kiti Soininen, Category Director – UK Food & Drink Research

This report examines the following issues:

  • Delivering on health is central for low-/no-alcohol variants
  • Scope for brands to justify alcohol-equivalent prices
  • No magic bullet for proving quality, but ingredient details and awards hold potential

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Report coverage
      • Executive Summary

          • The Market
            • Retail sales of low-/no-alcohol drinks top £100 million
              • Alcohol moderation remains in the headlines
                • Alcohol industry commits to provide nutrition information
                  • MUP comes into force in Scotland, gets delayed in Wales
                    • Companies and Brands
                      • Beck’s Blue retains top position in lager, but Heineken 0.0% is catching up fast
                        • Figure 1: UK retail value sales of the leading low- and no-alcohol lager brands, 2016/17-2018/19
                      • Eisberg retains lead in no-alcohol wine, Black Tower takes top position in lower-alcohol segment
                        • Leading brewers move into beers below 0.5% ABV
                          • Mainstream players explore wines below 0.5% ABV
                            • Spirits alternatives attract the attention of larger players
                              • Adspend on alcohol-free beer leaps ahead
                                • Exercise, responsible driving and special events feature in marketing
                                  • The Consumer
                                    • A third of adults moderate drinks, a fifth don’t drink
                                      • Figure 2: Alcohol usage and reduction, April 2019
                                    • Health considerations underpin moderation
                                      • Figure 3: Reasons for limiting/ reducing alcohol usage, April 2019
                                    • Healthy variants are in demand, relaxation chimes
                                      • Figure 4: Attributes missing from drinks aimed at those limiting/reducing/not drinking alcohol, April 2019
                                    • Alcohol alternatives must combat social awkwardness
                                      • Figure 5: Selected attitudes towards alcohol, April 2019
                                    • No magic bullet for proving quality
                                      • Figure 6: Factors that signal an alcohol alternative is high quality, April 2019
                                    • Store location of alcohol alternatives proves divisive, potential to justify alcohol-equivalent prices
                                      • Figure 7: Attitudes towards drinks designed as alcohol alternatives, April 2019
                                    • What we think
                                    • Issues and Insights

                                      • Delivering on health is central for low-/no-alcohol variants
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                            • Scope for brands to justify alcohol-equivalent prices
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                  • No magic bullet for proving quality, but ingredient details and awards hold potential
                                                    • The facts
                                                      • The implications
                                                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Retail sales of low-/no-alcohol drinks top £100 million
                                                          • Alcohol moderation remains in the headlines
                                                            • Alcohol industry commits to provide nutrition information
                                                              • MUP comes into force in Scotland, gets delayed in Wales
                                                              • Market Size and Segmentation

                                                                • Lager takes the lead as top segment
                                                                  • Figure 8: UK retail value and volume sales of selected low- and no-alcohol drinks, 2016/17-2018/19
                                                                • Segment benefits from growing distribution
                                                                  • Industry’s commitment bodes well for growth
                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                    • Government states no ‘safe’ level for drinking alcohol
                                                                      • PHE spotlights alcohol under ‘One You’ and Drink Free Days campaigns
                                                                        • Drink Free Days campaigns
                                                                          • Growing interest in dry January
                                                                            • Figure 9: Index of Google searches for “dry January”, Veganuary, and “sober for October”, January 2016-May 2019
                                                                          • New research adds to health concerns about alcohol
                                                                            • Most adults see their alcohol habits as healthy
                                                                              • Figure 10: Consumers’ perceptions of the healthiness of their alcohol consumption habits, August 2018
                                                                          • Regulatory and Legislative Changes

                                                                            • Calls for calorie labelling on alcohol
                                                                              • Self-regulatory proposal sees industry commit to provide nutrition information
                                                                                • Calorie labels interest two in five drinks buyers
                                                                                  • Scottish government puts a new alcohol framework in place
                                                                                    • Alcohol Charter calls for MUP in England
                                                                                      • Minimum unit pricing in Scotland and Wales
                                                                                        • New guidance released on low-alcohol descriptors
                                                                                          • A freeze on most alcohol duties in the Autumn 2018 Budget
                                                                                            • Figure 11: RPI index alcoholic drinks, soft drinks and all items, 2013-18
                                                                                        • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                          • Beck’s Blue retains top position in lager, Heineken 0.0% grows strongly
                                                                                            • Eisberg retains lead in no-alcohol wine, Black Tower takes top position in lower-alcohol segment
                                                                                              • Leading brewers move into beers below 0.5% ABV
                                                                                                • Mainstream players explore wines below 0.5% ABV
                                                                                                  • Spirits alternatives attract the attention of larger players
                                                                                                    • Adspend on alcohol-free beer leaps ahead
                                                                                                      • Exercise, responsible driving and key months feature in marketing
                                                                                                      • Market Share

                                                                                                        • Beck’s Blue retains top position in lager, but Heineken 0.0% is growing rapidly
                                                                                                          • Figure 12: UK retail value and volume sales of the leading low- and no-alcohol lager brands, 2016/17-2018/19
                                                                                                        • AB InBev and Carlsberg plan further investment in low-alcohol
                                                                                                          • BrewDog dominates low-alcohol ale
                                                                                                            • Figure 13: UK retail value and volume sales of the leading low- and no-alcohol ale brands, 2016/17-2018/19
                                                                                                          • Eisberg retains the lead in no-alcohol wine
                                                                                                            • Figure 14: UK retail value and volume sales of the leading no-alcohol wine brands, 2016/17-2018/19
                                                                                                          • Black Tower takes the top position in lower-alcohol wine
                                                                                                            • Figure 15: UK retail value and volume sales of the leading alcohol wine brands with ABV of 0.06-5.5%, 2016/17-2018/19
                                                                                                          • Seedlip’s growing distribution gives visibility to spirits alternatives
                                                                                                            • Figure 16: UK retail value and volume sales of the leading spirits alternatives brands, 2017/18 and 2018/19
                                                                                                        • Start-ups and Disruptors Case Study – Botonique

                                                                                                          • Company overview
                                                                                                            • What is it?
                                                                                                              • Figure 17: Example of Botonique drink, February 2019
                                                                                                            • Founded:
                                                                                                              • Company mission statement:
                                                                                                                • Founder’s Story:
                                                                                                                  • Sources of funding and support:
                                                                                                                    • Mintel Analyst View
                                                                                                                      • Mintel Trends
                                                                                                                        • Why it could succeed
                                                                                                                          • Why it could fail
                                                                                                                            • The verdict
                                                                                                                              • Product information
                                                                                                                                • Figure 18: Botonique product images, June 2016-2019
                                                                                                                                • Figure 19: Botonique, June 2016-2019
                                                                                                                              • Product stockists
                                                                                                                                • Media profile
                                                                                                                                  • Social media metrics
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Social media metrics for Botonique as of July 2019
                                                                                                                                • Start-ups and Disruptors Case Study – Caleño

                                                                                                                                  • Company Overview
                                                                                                                                    • Website
                                                                                                                                      • What is it?
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Example of Caleño product, October 2018
                                                                                                                                      • Founder’s Story:
                                                                                                                                        • Sources of funding and support:
                                                                                                                                          • Mintel Analyst View
                                                                                                                                            • Mintel Trends
                                                                                                                                              • Why it could succeed
                                                                                                                                                • Why it could fail
                                                                                                                                                  • The verdict
                                                                                                                                                    • Product information
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Caleño product image, October 2018 
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Caleño product offering, July 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Product stockists
                                                                                                                                                      • Media Profile
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Social media metrics for Caleño as of July 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Start-ups and Disruptors Case Study – Everleaf

                                                                                                                                                      • Company overview
                                                                                                                                                        • What is it?
                                                                                                                                                          • Website:
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Everleaf, January 2019
                                                                                                                                                          • Founded:
                                                                                                                                                            • Founder’s Story:
                                                                                                                                                              • Sources of funding and support:
                                                                                                                                                                • Mintel analyst View
                                                                                                                                                                  • Mintel Trends
                                                                                                                                                                    • Why it could succeed
                                                                                                                                                                      • Why it could fail
                                                                                                                                                                        • The verdict
                                                                                                                                                                          • Product information
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Everleaf, January 2019
                                                                                                                                                                          • Product stockists
                                                                                                                                                                            • Media profile
                                                                                                                                                                              • Social media metrics
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Social media metrics for Everleaf as of June 2019
                                                                                                                                                                            • Start-ups and Disruptors Case Study – Stryyk

                                                                                                                                                                              • Company Overview
                                                                                                                                                                                • Website:
                                                                                                                                                                                  • What is it?
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Example of Stryyk Drink, July 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Founded:
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Company mission statement:
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Founder’s story:
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Sources of funding and support:
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Mintel Analyst View
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Mintel Trends
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Why it could succeed
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Why it could fail
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • The verdict
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Product information
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Stryyk product images, July 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Stryyk product launches, October 2018-July 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Product stockists
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Media profile
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Social media figures for Stryyk, July 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Low-/no-alcohol beer attracts leading brands and specialists alike
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Established brewers move into beers below 0.5% ABV…
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Examples of established beer brands’ 0.5% ABV beers, 2018-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …and into beer up to 3.5%
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • The low-alcohol beer space attracts specialists…
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • …and flavoured beers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Examples of smaller brands’ lower-alcohol beers, 2018-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Low-/no-alcohol wine sees interest from grocers and mainstream players
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Various grocers expand their ranges
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Mainstream players explore wines below 0.5% ABV
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Examples of mainstream players’ lower-alcohol wines, 2018-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The space also attracts specialists
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Wine alternatives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Examples of specialists’ lower-alcohol wines and wine alternatives, 2017-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gordon’s and Bloom launch RTDs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • No-alcohol spirits attract the attention of larger players
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Leading drinks groups explore the space…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Examples of no-alcohol spirits, 2018-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • ...while it also draws in smaller operators
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Adspend on alcohol-free beer leaps ahead
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on alcohol-free wine, beer and cider, 2015-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Heineken supports 0.0 variant with “Now You Can”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on alcohol-free wine, beer and cider, by brand, 2015-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Heineken and Seedlip promote responsible driving
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • San Miguel and Michelob Ultra link with exercise in 2019 campaign
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Heineken’s “Say Yes” campaign spotlights alcohol-free drinks as a positive choice, Diageo promotes Weekend not Wasted
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • AB InBev uses 'dry January' to promote Budweiser Prohibition beer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • AB InBev supports Bud Light with Dilly Dilly creative in 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sainsbury’s launches a pop-up pub serving low- and non-alcoholic drinks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Diageo supports responsible drinking on social media
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • A third of adults moderate drinks, a fifth don’t drink
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Health considerations underpin moderation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Healthy variants are in demand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Relaxation chimes widely
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Alcohol alternatives must combat social awkwardness
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • No magic bullet for proving quality
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Store location of alcohol alternatives proves divisive
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Strong potential for brands to justify alcohol-equivalent prices
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Alcohol Usage and Reduction

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • A third of adults moderate drinks, a fifth don’t drink
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Alcohol usage and reduction, April 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Reasons for Limiting/Reducing Alcohol Intake

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Health considerations underpin moderation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Reasons for limiting/ reducing alcohol usage, April 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Help people track improvements and calories saved
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • A third of reducers are looking to save money
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Reasons for not drinking are fragmented
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Reasons for not drinking alcohol, April 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Usage of Selected Low- and No-alcohol Drinks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • One in four have drunk low/lower-alcohol drinks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Alcohol drinkers’ usage of low- and no-alcohol beer, cider, wine and pre-mixed drinks, April 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Few non-drinkers use alcohol-free variants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Non-drinkers’ usage of non-alcoholic/alcohol-free beer, cider, wine and pre-mixed drinks, April 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • White Spaces for Drinks Targeting Moderators/Non-drinkers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Healthy variants are in demand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Attributes missing from drinks aimed at those limiting/reducing/not drinking alcohol, April 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Relaxation chimes widely
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • A role for herbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Selected soft drinks referencing relaxation on-pack, 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunities for CBD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Selected drinks referencing CBD on-pack, 2018-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Driving refreshing image warrants further attention
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Fruit and berry-flavoured CSDs with mint, 2017-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Selected Attitudes towards Alcohol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Alcohol alternatives must combat social awkwardness
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Selected attitudes towards alcohol, April 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Compelling flavour offers a strong selling point
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Assurances that Signal an Alcohol Alternative is High Quality

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • No magic bullet for proving quality
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Factors that signal an alcohol alternative is high quality, April 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Ingredient provenance offers a quality signal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ingredient provenance is widely established as a premium cue…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …and chimes also for alcohol alternatives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Alcohol-style ingredients have a role to play
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Low- and non-alcoholic drinks calling out ingredient details, 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Limited interest in processes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Award schemes can help the industry boost its quality image
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes towards Drinks Designed as Alcohol Alternatives

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Store location of alcohol alternatives proves divisive
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Attitudes towards drinks designed as alcohol alternatives, April 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Strong potential for brands to justify alcohol-equivalent prices
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Competitive pricing is widely expected…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • …but there is a clear opportunity for products priced on a par with alcohol equivalents
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Alcohol Duty rates, from 1 February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • 2018 guidance on low-alcohol descriptors
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Exceptions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Share

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: UK retail value and volume sales of the leading low- and no-alcohol lager brand owners/distributors, 2016/17-2018/19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: UK retail value and volume sales of the leading low- and no-alcohol brewers, 2016/17-2018/19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 55: UK retail value and volume sales of the leading no-alcohol wine brand owners, 2016/17-2018/19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: UK retail value and volume sales of the leading alcohol wine brand with ABV of 0.06-5.5% owners, 2016/17-2018/19

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Attitudes towards Low- and Non-alcoholic Drink - UK - August 2019

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