Low2NoBev was the first major trade event to be held ‘in real life’ for over a year, with exhibitors and visitors alike celebrating a further step towards normality.
Having been postponed twice, the long awaited Low2NoBev show finally threw open its doors to an enthusiastic reception from producers exhibiting a range of over 150 low and no alcohol brands and the visitors who had come to discover them.
There was an opportunity to taste some of the best low and no alcohol beers, wines, spirits, ciders, meads, cocktails, mixers and functional drinks but the show also included a full programme of expert analysis and discussion at the Quench Live Theatre, in partnership with BrewDog. It also hosted the release of the latest research findings from Lumina Intelligence – the Low2No Alcohol Report 2021.
With an increasing focus on health and wellbeing, consumers are creating a demand that is expected to drive UK volume growth within the sector by 22% from 2019 to 2024. As the only trade event dedicated exclusively to low and no alcohol drinks, Low2NoBev was an important addition to the calendar for anyone who sources and buys beverages across retail, hospitality, convenience and the wider on/off licensed trade.
The sector is thriving and has inspired a wave of innovation, enabling Low2NoBev to highlight a diverse range of new product launches. From Thomson & Scott’s Noughty Rosé alcohol-free organic, vegan sparkling wine to the introduction of the UK’s first all-natural 30mg cannabis seltzer from Goodrays; the launch of UNLTD alcohol free IPA through to the unveiling of BEMUSE, a low alcohol sparkling range of meads, the Low2NoBev had something exciting for every bar, restaurant, hotel, club, supermarket and store.
And the benefit of being at the show was obvious from feedback received from the exhibitors which included Paul Murphy, Founder of Everleaf, who said “This is an opportunity to taste so many different things within the category in one place and there are no distractions around alcohol or food or other categories here, so it's really focused. It's very specific and we’re getting the right kind of demographic coming to see us.
“We’ve had buyers from big grocery, small hospitality chains and everything in between. Plus, it's great to catch up with all the other brands and to hear about all the challenges that we're all facing.“
Kate Johnson Co-founder of Highball Cocktails added “Low2NoBev had a really nice buzz about it. And I tell you what, it's so nice to see everyone back together again. We've seen a good range of buyers from both on-trade and off-trade and frankly, it's just great for us to have an opportunity to get people trying our drinks. We've done a lot of marketing, a lot of social media, but unless people can actually really try our drinks, it's really hard to get them to understand what the drinks are all about and actually just how good they taste.”
CleanCo Founder & CEO Spencer Matthews echoed the importance of tasting the drinks, adding “I think it's just important to share information, meet people, network, chat to buyers and to get liquid on lips.”
The importance of meeting in person was also shared by Ellie Webb, founder of Caleno who said “I think virtual is great and it's been a great stop gap, but it's not a substitute for actual face-to-face interaction. So it's important for buyers to actually get to taste everything in the category and being able to sample with someone in person, tell them our story and get them to try our drink has been incredible.”
Visitors were equally enthusiastic about Low2NoBev and the opportunities it presented. Enrique Gomez, Group Bar Manager of Sticks’n’ Sushi said “I feel it's really important to come to the low and no show because it's a growing category and looking at the sales is a huge opportunity to grow the business. It will benefit me and my company by coming here to know more products that we are not that aware are on the market.
“Trying the drinks is really important. If you don't really know how it tastes, how can you get something for your guests or your customers?”
Veronique LeVasseur of Momentum Services Ltd, the exclusive caterer for Eurostar added “I think the low alcohol, no alcohol trend is very popular with the younger generation and there's a lot of innovation, so it's good to keep up with that.
“One of the main reasons (for visiting) was probably to make contact with new suppliers, find new products and keep up with innovation of course. There's also, some good seminars going on that people were talking about - it's good to hear what's happening
“I would recommend Low2NoBev, definitely to come to this show to meet other people, to meet suppliers, to discover new products and to taste it. Definitely it's a part of the experiences to be able to taste and have an idea of what those products are.”
Aaron Goldrup, Founder of Fizz Republic agreed, saying “It benefits us directly to come to this show because we list products on our marketplace and we need as many products as we can get, to satisfy customers. And a show like this gives us huge access to a no/low market that we wouldn't have seen before and allows us to find those new products and those new vendors.
“It's really interesting to come to a show like this, to find new innovative products. Ultimately, unless you're scouring the internet, this is the best place to come to find a ton of products in one small place over the course of a few hours. So we can do a weeks worth of hunting in one day.”
As the first major trade event to be hosted since the tentative lifting of lockdown restrictions, the Low2NoBev show ran according to All Secure standards, with the health and safety of everyone remaining a key priority. The organisers proved that it is possible, once again, to host a socially responsible event and create the enthusiasm and excitement that a gathering of hospitality and drinks trade personnel brings.
Such was the popularity and positive feedback that reservations are already being taken from exhibitors for next year, with Low2NoBev 2022 being held at the Truman Brewery again on 8-9 June 2022.
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For Immediate Release: 1/07/21
For Further Information: Kate Hempsall PR & Communications