Opportunity Flows for Low- and No-Alcohol Beverages

A U.K. study finds that about 40% of consumers are drinking less alcohol since the pandemic began.

December 11, 2020

LONDON—About 40% of U.K. consumers have reduced their alcohol consumption since the pandemic began in March, according to new research from Lumina Intelligence, Talking Retail reports. Less alcohol, or the “Low 2 No” trend, has been named one of the top food trends for the next decade.

Forty-two percent of 18 to 24 year-olds and 46 % of 25 to 34 year-olds say they are drinking less, mainly for health reasons. These consumers are looking for low- and no-alcohol replacements, turning to convenience stores as their most popular place for finding such products. The other top two channels for low- and no-alcohol purchases are grocery stores and discount stores, the research found.

“The trend toward Low 2 No [low- and no-alcohol beverages] has been gathering pace for some time, and it seems that the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated this,” said Sarah Coleman, insight and communications director at Lumina Intelligence. “With health high on the agenda, a significant proportion of consumers have cut back on their alcohol consumption since the outbreak in March. This highlights a significant opportunity for retailers to tap into, particularly within the convenience channel, which attracts a higher visit frequency than other channels.”

Convenience store shoppers are buying low- and no-alcohol beverages at c-stores for prices, promos and new product selections. The researchers point to clear merchandising, packaging and point-of-sale signage as key to helping shoppers find what they’re looking for in this category, which consumers define as low- and no-alcohol spirits, wines and beers or premium soft drinks. Educating staff as to what products could meet that need is key to driving awareness and customer engagement.

“With younger consumers driving the growth in the Low 2 No market, health and price are two key areas to focus on. Highlighting the health benefits of low-alcohol alternatives will attract shoppers and finding a competitive price point will be key to driving sales,” Coleman said.