One in five Britons is estimated to have taken part in Dry January this year but buoyant sales of soft drinks and low/no-alcohol options are offering operators routes to sales growth.
Data from CGA shows that 43% of consumers who proactively lead healthy lifestyles drink out weekly, vs. an average across the country of just 32%.
Over the past year. CGA’s On Premise Measurement tracked 271 new product launches of premium soft drinks into the on trade, as suppliers strive to meet the demands of consumers, of whom 52% perceive the range of soft drinks at outlets as “boring” and 61% would like to see a greater range of soft drinks targeted at adults. The data shows significant room for growth, with just 14% of business leaders rate their own soft drink offer as “market-leading.”
The no and low alcohol beer category has also seen significant growth over the past year, increasing in volume by 33%, as consumers increasingly head for non-alcoholic options to align with health and moderation trends. With no or low alcoholic beer now stocked in 6 in 10 of all licenced outlets (equating to 68,753 venues and growing by 14% year on year) the category is now a staple, with 12% of the population having tried no/low alcohol beers and 22% saying that they would consider, if available.
However, CGA insists that it is important to view the category, contextualised in the wider beer market, with no and low alcohol beer only contributing 0.24% of total beer volume sold in the on trade, albeit a figure that has grown from 0.18% three years ago.
CGA comments: “So what is next for the no and low alcohol market? There is clearly a rush from suppliers and operators to capitalise on the consumer demand for healthy options and innovation within the sector is rife. Of the 100 influential outlets in London, 44 now stock fermented brews, drinking vinegars or cold brews, with products such as kombucha primed to take advantage.
“However, there is a watch out for the category. Yet to fully establish itself as mass market, the low and no alcohol sector is still very fragmented and may become congested as new entrants flood the market. Although biased towards younger consumers who are engaged with the market, this is limited to around 1 in 5 GB adults for whom no and low options hold appeal. However, as this becomes engrained within consumer habit, the sector may eventually pose a more mainstream threat to current soft drink and alcohol-led occasions.”