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The latest survey from the alcohol social responsibility body the Portman Group shows that over half of alcohol drinkers (59%) have at least tried a low alcohol product (products with an ABV of above 0.05%, up to 1.2%).

The Portman Group’s second annual poll into public attitudes to low alcohol conducted by YouGov also shows:

Continuing British support for lower alcohol products

  • Almost a quarter (23%) of those who drink alcohol said that they had or were likely to consider switching some of their drinking to lower alcoholic options in the next six months, similar to last year, showing that public interest in low alcoholic options has not waned.
  • Once again, the intention to switch is being led by younger drinkers, with almost one in ten (9%) 18-24 year olds saying that they had already switched the majority of their drinking to lower alcohol options.
  • The reasons given for why low alcohol beverages appeal reflect increasingly responsible attitudes to drinking across all age groups, ranging from being able to drive home after social events (31%) to reducing the risk of long-term physical health issues (22%).

Concerns

  • However, 30% of British adults who drink alcohol in an average week say they have yet to try a low alcohol product and, concerningly, 13% of all adults do not recall seeing a low alcohol option available for sale anywhere.
  • The survey also highlights a significant gap between the public’s desire for wider availability of lower alcohol alternatives beyond pubs and supermarkets, and a perceived failure to provide these options in restaurants and other venues. For example, 19% of adults who drink alcohol and would consider drinking low alcohol beverages drinking a low alcohol beverage at a nightclub, but only 6% of Brits had seen such an option for sale.

Commenting, Portman Group Chief Executive John Timothy said:

“It’s great to see the British public continuing to embrace low alcohol products as a way to continue to drink responsibly and make healthy choices. Across all age groups, but especially younger adults, we are seeing people adopt low alcohol alternatives to help moderate their alcohol intake or make responsible choices, such as being able to drive home.

However, whilst producers continue to heavily invest in the sector, our research shows more work needs to be done to support its growth. We believe in broader consumer choice and would like to see a low and no alcohol option available in a wider range of outlets. The UK Government should also tackle the current array of confusing product descriptors to give greater clarity about what they are purchasing.”

Portman Group member companies continue to lead innovation to make low and no alcohol products more accessible. Examples include:

  • Bacardi has launched an alcohol-free sparkling drink under its popular Martini brand – ‘Martini 0.0% Dolce’.
  • Budweiser Brewing Group has a commitment that no and low beer products will represent at least 20% of its global beer volumes by the end of 2025.
  • Carlsberg aim to offer an alcohol-free alternative wherever its alcoholic options are sold by 2022.
  • Diageo has invested in non-alcoholic drinks company Seedlip and launched an ultra-low Gordon’s Gin & Tonic flavoured drink in the UK.
  • Heineken has partnered with Club Soda to support mindful drinking festivals and plan to roll out Heineken ® 0.0 draught beer to 1,500 pubs through its Blade countertop draught system.
  • Molson Coors already offer UK consumers a range of no/low products and aims to offer these products in all countries in which it has a presence by 2025.
  • Pernod Ricard has launched non-alcoholic premium drink Ceder’s in the UK, the company’s first non-alcoholic alternative to gin.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
David Saer, Policy and Communications Manager

0207 290 1463 or 07730 525 701 or comms@localhost

Notes to editors:

  1. The Portman Group is the alcohol industry regulator. It has over 130 code signatories from producers, retailers and membership bodies. The Portman Group is funded by eight member companies: Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands UK; Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I; Carlsberg UK; Diageo GB; Heineken UK; Mast-Jäegermeister UK; Molson Coors Brewing Company UK; Pernod Ricard UK.
  2. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The 2019 survey included 2008 adults aged 18+ across Britain and was conducted on 18-19 November 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
  3. A full copy of the survey results including further visuals can be found here – http://localhost/portman-group/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Portman-Group-YouGov-Survey-on-Low-Alcohol-Alternatives-January-2020.pdf