A new report from KAM and alcohol-free beer brand Lucky Saint has found that one in three Brits who visit pubs are staying alcohol-free.
Over a thid (37%) of Brits who go to restaurants are also choosing to stay alcohol-free.
More Brits are choosing to reduce alcohol use by opting for no or low alcohol products in pubs.
KAM are a creative insight agency. They are providing hospitality and foodservice insights, consumer research and media content.
Reasons why people prefer staying alcohol-free on a night out
People at pubs said they were choosing to stay sober because of several reasons:
- Having to drive after,
- Wanting to stay alert for an important event the next day,
- Being part of a social group where staying alcohol-free is the norm, and
- Attending an activity such as sports right after.
Luke Boase, founder of Lucky Saint says that the British alcohol industry needs to change the way they view “non-users”.
The attitudes of Britains are changing and they can no longer be simply categorized to alcohol users and non-users.
The oppressive alcohol norm and people’s real preferences
There are many who are sober curious and cutting down their alcohol use for various reasons. The market needs to catch up to these Brits and offer more options of no and low alcohol products.
In a sector that only knows people as [alcohol users] and non-[users], there isn’t much understanding of how to cater to the majority of UK pub-goers currently,” said Luke Boase, founder of Lucky Saint, as per CITY A.M.Luke Boase, founder and CEO, Lucky Saint
The new report is a collaboration with the no-booze beer brand Lucky Saint. Mr. Boase says the new research points to a larger no/low alcohol trend amongst bar patrons in several countries.
The likes of Spain, France and Germany all have at least five times the market share for low and no (alcohol) options compared to the UK,” he said, per the Daily Mail.Luke Boase, founder and CEO, Lucky Saint
The new data from the KAM and Lucky Saint report confirm findings from Sweden that have previously revealed that the current alcohol norm is oppressive. The current alcohol norm in Sweden doesn’t reflect either people’s real preferences and wishes, but only those of the alcohol industry and a small minority of influential consumers.
In a groundbreaking blog post Lucas Nillson dissected the Swedish alcohol norm, providing solid evidence and data and discussed positive solutions – analysis that applies to the UK and other countries, too.
The Oppressive Alcohol Norm And The Freedom To Not Use Alcohol
How to achieve freedom for the many to enjoy social life liberated from pressures to engage in behaviour many people apparently do not like or want to engage in? Lucas blog post explores reasons and opportunities for making possible the freedom for the many to participate in social life in exactly the way people truly choose to and feel content with.
Alcohol-free trend in Western Countries
As Movendi International previously reported, since the early 2000s more young people specifically in the Western world have been choosing to stay alcohol-free longer. One major reason for this shift is the denormalization of alcohol use in these cultures. Another reason is the growing acceptance of the alcohol-free way of life. Young people are increasingly health-conscious and understand that alcohol harms health and society. Therefore, they choose to cut back or go alcohol-free.
This is leading to more youth prefering no and low alcohol products over alcohol products. In the UK, according to the annual British craft beer report in 2020, there has been a 30% sales increase for no and low alcohol products 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.
In many Western countries more and more businesses are using alcohol-free models to cater to the younger generation who are alcohol-free or sober curious. For instance, a popular hotel in Scotland went completely alcohol-free rebranding as a wellness destination.
In Ireland the innovative alcohol-free bar “The Virgin Mary” or TVD did so well that they decided go global opening the first franchise in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In Germany two creators opened up the first alcohol-free kiosk or “sober Späti” in Kreuzberg, Berlin.
Watch out for Big Alcohol hijacking the NoLo trend
One major threat to Big Alcohol is the new trend towards the alcohol-free way of life and sober curiosity with the rapid growth of the NoLo market. Therefore, Big Alcohol is now trying to take over that market, too, by releasing their own NoLo products – always looking like their alcohol products.
A report released by the Institute of Alcohol Policy Studies (IAS) written by Dr. Emily Nicholls, found that Big Alcohol markets NoLos unethically.
- Addition marketing. This means NoLo is marketed by alcohol companies as a product to use in addition to alcohol products. Such as on occasions where using alcohol is not an option.
- For example, Heineken 0.0 was marketed in the “workplace of productivity” category, in cars and gyms and during Dry January.
- Stealth marketing. This means promoting the alcohol brand as a whole, which includes alcoholic products and not just the NoLo products.
- This is an indirect marketing strategy that circumvents alcohol marketing laws that would apply to usual alcohol products.
The report also found that the alcohol industry fueled three harmful trends with their NoLo campaigns:
- Reinforce stereotypes around gender and alcohol use.
- Continue to position alcohol use as the norm.
- Make health claims or associations that confuse consumers.
This is why it is necessary to improve alcohol policy solutions in the UK. The indirect marketing of alcohol brands through NoLo products must be restricted with better marketing controls. Meanwhile public health campaigns can use NoLo products as tools to promote reducing alcohol use and improving health.