The Restaurant & Bar Tech Live logo

9 & 10 NOV 2021

ExCeL LONDON

Are you ready to cater for alcohol-free market opportunities?

1 in 3 Millennials do not drink, whilst generation Z is drinking 20% less than Millennials and almost 39% of generation X are saying that they want to reduce or stop drinking alcohol.

The UK is leading the globe with a sober curious movement.  No/low alcohol brands form 1.3% of the UK’s alcohol drinks market and growing fast. This trend is fueled by the war on sugar, increasing alcohol duties but mainly the motivation to live a healthier lifestyle. There are plenty of signs that the no/low alcohol category is growing fast with forecast growth (CAGR 2018-2022) of ready to drink at 44.3%, beer at 4.9% and wine at 6.6% according to IWSR. Though the one category to keep an eye on is the no/low ABV spirits which is forecasted to grow at 81.5% CAGR!
The UK is also leading with innovation in non-alcoholic spirits from large companies and entrepreneurs alike.  According to the press headlines over the past few months, a number of big players in the drinks industry have taken steps to ensure staying power of the no/low alcohol category by making major investments.
The consumption of no/low alcohol category is no longer exclusive to teetotalers, as more than half of all consumers on any visit to bars and pubs, drink no/low alcohol drinks as well as alcoholic drinks. Almost 70% of consumers are looking for low sugar alternatives with new and adventurous flavours. Increasingly, consumers are willing to pay more for healthier sophisticated grown up alternative no/low alcohol drinks.
The consumers’ need for a healthier lifestyle is the reason behind a number of craft spirit producers who are creating a new category within the no/low space with their innovative health enhancing spirits, which are receiving a popular following amongst teetotalers, mindful drinkers and the sober curious. 
Calendar events, specialist organisations and communities are easing the consumers journey with their goals to reduce or stop drinking alcohol. Calendar events such as Sober October and Dry January are seeing a surge in the number of followers each year. Some organisations have been positively active in arranging no/low alcohol drinking festivals, publishing blogs, offering courses and venue guides to support consumers, altogether making it easier to meet their goal to reduce/stop drinking alcohol. 
These initiatives provide the on-trade (bars, pubs, restaurants, hotels, lounges and event venues) with opportunities to cater for their customers’ needs and benefit from the business opportunities that it can provide.
The likely challenges for the on-trade are:
1. awareness, training and turnover of staff,
2. proactive promotion to customers,
3. more sophisticated and grown-up menu choices beyond the usual juice and carbonated drinks
4. understanding that this category is not limited to designated drivers and expectant mothers
5. The current trend of healthy eating and drinking, opens further opportunities for restaurants to serve more premium non-alcoholic drinks to accompany their meals as part of their menu and meet customers’ needs more holistically.  
6.  As the experts forecast suggests an impressive growth for low/no alcohol category, on-trade have all to play for and can join the movement by opening space on their menus and shelves to accommodate this category and take advantage of these opportunities.

Get in touch: Xachoh
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