New research released today by AB InBev UK reveals the growing popularity of alcohol-free beer amongst the British public. Nearly a third of Brits have now tried alcohol-free beer, one in ten women are enjoying it on a weekly basis and 18% of Londoners are drinking it whenever they go out - Londoners being the most inclined to consume alcohol-free beer over any other UK city.
Over a fifth of millennials - those aged 18 to 34 - are likely to choose alcohol-free beer in January, an increase of 10% on 2014. This supports a growing trend among millennials who are increasingly motivated by balanced and healthy lifestyles, with 41% of those aged 18 to 19 actively trying to moderate their drinking habits2.
The research coincides with the launch of AB InBev’s new set of ‘global smart drinking goals’ that aim to empower consumers to make smart drinking choices and reduce the harmful use of alcohol by the end of 2025. The company has committed to ensuring that at least 20% of its global beer volume will be alcohol-free or lower-alcohol by 2020.
Across the UK, almost a fifth of consumers are unable to taste the difference between alcohol and alcohol-free beer, which may go some way to explaining why, among those looking to moderate their alcohol intake in January, 34% will be looking to consume alcohol-free beer. This is an increase of 16% from 2014.
Daytime occasions and weekday evenings are key occasions for alcohol-free beer consumption, with almost a quarter of Brits happy to take it to a festive gathering. While a quarter of consumers are forgoing festive parties this year, for those who are celebrating, the most common reason to choose alcohol-free beer is being the designated driver (29%), or not wanting to drink too much and feel unwell the next day (20%).
Commenting on the research Anna Tolley, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, AB InBev UK & Ireland says: “It’s great to see the growing popularity of alcohol-free beer among the UK public – especially millennials. Offering consumers choice is an important part of our commitment to responsible drinking and we are proud to brew Beck’s Blue, the market leading alcohol-free beer”.
The low and alcohol-free beer category is growing by 5% in the UK on-trade with AB InBev’s Beck’s Blue the market leader, contributing to 58% of the category, and increasing 15% year on year in retail, and 10% in outlets like pubs and bars.
Opinium interviewed 2,003 GB adults aged 18+ online December 4-8 2015.
4 January 2016 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor