During 2018 we saw huge growth of the low/no alcohol drinks category as Brits turned their backs on high alcohol content in favour of healthier choices. With the drinking rate in the UK now at its lowest in 18 years, and more than a quarter of those aged 16-24 choosing to avoid alcohol altogether, we expect this trend to only increase in popularity during 2019. 

We see three key factors leading the way in the low/no alcohol category: 

1. Craft

With industry research revealing growth across craft beers and cider, consumers are becoming ever more interested in where their products are coming from, and we expect this to be seen across the wider industry during 2019. Millennials, in particular, are looking for brands with a story and ingredients that play a well-considered part in the final product. With consumer tastes ever evolving, wine that has simply been de-alcoholised no longer makes the cut. 

According to our recent research, there are three qualities that consumers look for when avoiding alcohol; a drink that delivers big on taste, has the right look and feels the part – as they still want to feel they are having an alcohol moment. Brands that are able to incorporate these traits into their products will ensure they are satisfying consumer demand. 

2. Health 

With consumers increasingly conscious of what they are drinking, not only in terms of sugar and calories but also alcohol content, they are actively turning towards healthier choices across all styles of drinks. Due to this behaviour, the rise in low/no alcohol has continued to soar; it’s important for brands to offer a drink that delivers on great taste and experience, but also meets the needs of the health conscious. 

3. The experience 

For the no/low alcohol category to grow faster, it is key for suppliers to deliver the experience that consumers want; the taste, the feel and the appearance. They want to feel part of the occasion, but traditional soft drinks do not deliver this and fail to excite; 2019 will see experience play an even bigger role in the low/no alcohol offering. 

With purpose and authenticity now at the forefront of consumers’ minds, we expect these three factors to play a leading part in the category during the next 12 months – keep your eyes peeled!