Article by Alice Leader, Reporter, MA editorial
One-in-four pub visits now alcohol-free
Booze-free occasions are booming as new research shows a quarter of all pub visits now don’t include alcohol.
As non-alcoholic visits are forecast to surge, two in three licensees are asking for help to maximise the growing low and no-alcohol opportunity in their pubs.
The study, by KAM Media, based on feedback from 1,000 UK adults and 170 pub licensees, aimed to find out the customer perspective on the low-and-no drinking occasion that found 45% of consumers are currently satisfied with the low-and-no range available in pubs.
As a result, the research found that there are key opportunities to improve both the range of non-alcoholic drinks for customers and to also better communicate the range available.
KAM Media managing director Katy Moses said: “More than one-in-two consumers said they find it difficult to see which cans and bottles, behind the bar, are no and low-alcohol versions of alcoholic drinks, or soft drinks specifically.
“Improving the visibility and communication of the low-and-no range available is key, especially with so many new and unfamiliar brands entering the category.
“Many licensees are aware that they need further advice on how to better display and communicate their range, and the majority [two-in-three licensees] want extra support on how to better satisfy these low-and-no customers, so it’s a great opportunity for collaborative growth.”
However, despite licensees’ call for further support, KAM’s research also identified that many licensees are excited about the low-and-no opportunity, with two thirds having increased their range in 2019.
Some 72%, in fact, see the growth of the low-and-no category as an opportunity to upsell customers into more premium drinks than traditional soft drinks.
Set to grow
The research also found that 63% of customers expect low and no-alcohol variants to be cheaper than alcoholic equivalents, and 13% say the price actively puts them off purchasing.
The research showed Generation Z and Millennials are much less bothered by price because the research found 36% are happy to pay more for a good-quality, low or no-alcohol variant, while only 19% of Generation X (over 35 years old) agree.
Moses continued: “Some customers believe that the low-and-no variants are not that much cheaper than the alcoholic versions, so feel they’re getting a worse deal.
“Pricing needs to be carefully considered, especially if it puts customers off trialling the products in the first place.”
The low-and-no drinking occasion is set to grow as the research found that more than one-in-three adults intend to cut down their alcohol consumption in 2020 with 36% intend to consume more low and no-alcohol variants.
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