UK: NoLo Trend Taking Hold
According to the annual British craft beer report, NoLo drinks are becoming the biggest trend for 2020, driven by 18 to 24 year olds who are consuming low alcohol beverages or going alcohol-free and switching to non-alcoholic beverages.
The report finds:
- One in three young adults have reduced their alcohol use, and
- 23% have gone alcohol-free.
This trend to reduce consumption of alcohol and go alcohol-free driven by youth has been catching on globally.
With the new trend the market for low- and no-alcohol beverages is expanding to suit consumer needs. According to the report there has been a 30% sales increase for this type of beverages since 2016. A separate study by Euromonitor has shown that the UK market for no- and low-alcohol beer has doubled in four years, with sales of £63m estimated for 2020.
Consumers should be aware though that despite the no alcohol tag, beverages with 0.5% alcohol can be marketed as non-alcoholic in the UK.
Many small breweries are making use of the new trend. Larger corporations such as Diageo, AB InBev and Heineken have also jumped on the NoLo trend to target youth who are increasingly preferring less alcohol or alcohol-free choices in their lives.
While it’s positive that even larger alcohol companies are forced to adapt to the growing NoLo trend, it must not be forgotten the majority of the profits of these companies are made from alcohol and primarily by exploiting people with heavy alcohol use. The new efforts are simply ways to keep the brand loyalty going in the long-run.
The NoLo trend is a positive movement driven by health conscious young people. However, it stresses on the personal responsibility aspect of alcohol use (which is probably one reason Big Alcohol has grabbed on to it). Effective alcohol policy-making in the UK, such as by increasing alcohol taxes, is necessary to prevent and reduce alcohol problems at the national level.