Almost a third of pub visits are now completely alcohol-free as the trend for moderation among drinkers continues to grow, according to new research.
Around 29% of pub visits and 37% of restaurant visits are now alcohol-free, according to an industry report commissioned by KAM and Lucky Saint.
The figures come amid a wider reduction in the levels of alcohol consumption across the UK in recent years, with many reducing cutting intake due to health concerns and other reasons.
It showed that 55% of UK drinkers consume fewer than 10 units of alcohol per week.
In 2019, NHS research reported that 60% of adults drank up to 14 units per week.
Katy Moses, managing director of sector research firm KAM, said: “Without a doubt, alcohol consumption habits are shifting in the UK.
We need to rethink what we understand as a ‘non-drinker’ in the UK. Those who move fast to tap into this market in the UK will see huge rewards in the coming years
Luke Boase, Lucky Saint
“Despite short-term flux during the pandemic, an overwhelming proportion of Brits intend to cut down their consumption over the next 12 months.
“The growth in popularity of the alcohol-free category isn’t primarily driven by those who never drink alcohol, but rather the huge number of Brits who simply want to moderate their intake and are looking for a great-tasting alternative.”
A raft of major brewers, including Heineken and Budweiser, have expanded into non-alcoholic beers in recent years in search of growth as other areas of the beer industry see restrained demand.
Luke Boase, founder of non-alcoholic lager brand Lucky Saint, said he believes we are at the start “of a cultural shift in our attitudes towards drinking in the UK”.
The company said it has seen like-for-like growth of 180% since the start of 2021 amid a surge in demand after hospitality operators returned to growth following the pandemic.
“Consumers want taste and quality, but historically there’s not been a product that fits the bill.
“We need to rethink what we understand as a ‘non-drinker’ in the UK. Those who move fast to tap into this market in the UK will see huge rewards in the coming years.”