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Survey finds alcohol-free beer on the rise

New research published today indicates that almost half (49%) of British adults believe alcohol-free beer is more socially acceptable than it was five years ago. This research is backed up by industry data, published for the first time, showing significant growth (8.4%) in off-trade volumes of no/low alcohol beer during 2013/14.

The findings are the result of a ComRes survey, commissioned by AB InBev UK, which also indicates that 43% of British adults have tried alcohol-free beer, with over half of men (54%) having consumed the beverage. In addition, 59% of those surveyed said that they would feel comfortable ordering alcohol-free beer in front of their friends in a pub, bar or restaurant.

The results highlight the growing recognition of alcohol-free beer as an option at home and on a night out. When asked to select the various reasons for trying alcohol-free beer, the most likely reasons given by the British public were that they were driving (46%) or they were curious (39%).

Additional industry data has revealed that Beck’s Blue, brewed by AB InBev, is the most popular alcohol-free beer. During 2013/14 volumes of Beck’s Blue sold grew by 20.9% in the off-trade and 11.7% in the on-trade, increasing the beer’s market share to over 50% in both categories. (On-trade data source: CGA Brand Index Period 06 - 14/06/2014; off-trade data source: IRI – Off Trade MAT w/e 21 June ’14).

Commenting on the research, Jennifer Anton, marketing manager for Beck’s at AB InBev UK, said: “We’re really excited to see the results of the survey, and it is encouraging to see customers are comfortable ordering alcohol-free beers when out with friends. 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 research

The findings are the result of a ComRes survey commissioned by AB InBev UK, brewer of Beck’s Blue, which asked people for their views on alcohol-free beer during August 2014, representing the views of 2,050 British adults. The research also found that four regions were leading the way, with more adults in the regions having tried alcohol-free beer than the national average. These regions were: Yorkshire and Humberside: 52%, Scotland – 48%, East of England – 47%, West Midlands – 46%. 

26 August 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor