New product launches, events and trialling push low/no category forward in the on-trade

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

2020 will be 'a year of acceleration' for the emerging low/no alcohol category. Pic:getty/diatrezor
2020 will be 'a year of acceleration' for the emerging low/no alcohol category. Pic:getty/diatrezor

Related tags: NABLAB, Uk

Some of hospitality’s top drinks brands are predicting that 2020 will be a year of acceleration for the emerging low/no alcohol drinks category – with momentum continuing to build beyond Dry January.

An increasing number of on-trade operators are realising the potential of stocking a range of alcohol free and low alcohol products.

Kolibri Drinks – a UK brand that offers botanical soft drinks which can customize sweetness according to taste – says consumers want to see a range of options.

“The on-trade now acknowledges that there is a need to cater for those who are not drinking, or are drinking less, and, whilst some believe that a handful of mocktails on their menus might be the solution, most are realising that the emerging category needs a range of solutions for all types of occasions and they must be as exciting as their choice of alcoholic beverages,” ​says founder Kamilla Sitwell.

Mathilde Boulachin, CEO & Owner of Pierre Chavin, a French wine company specialising in alcohol-free, adds: “You just have to look at consumer interest to know that things are starting to change.  According to google trends, for example, online searches for the phrase “non-alcoholic” is up 81% across global searches over the past year.

“This is an entirely new revenue stream for outlets which won’t cannibalise their alcoholic drinks offer.  It enables teetotal consumers to switch from water or soft drinks to a more sophisticated adult drink and alcohol-free wines offer a very interesting alternative to accompany gourmet meals.” 

Operators should offer inclusivity for all kinds of drinks - and will reap the benefits if they succeed in doing this. 

“There’s an opportunity to trade up from sugary, calorific soft drinks and generate incremental revenue”​ said James Pattison, Marketing Manager of zero-proof spirit Stryyk. “Given the market trend for healthy choice, getting your offer right can put more money in the till, with 33% of consumers happy to pay £6 for a quality non-alcoholic drink.”

low2nobev london logo

These three brands are among more than 70 brands exhibiting at the Low 2 No Bev Show​ at The Old Truman Brewery in London on 17th​ and 18th​ June. The show has been created to enhance understanding of the emerging category for the licensed retail, hospitality, convenience and out of home sectors in on and off trade. 

Revolutionising drinks – and the drinks menu

For 2020, trialling is key says James Pattison of Stryyk - “but any brand can trial, so we have developed a revolutionary menu hack for our products to work in conjunction with any level of operator and actually save menu space.

“By placing a S asterisk next to any vodka, gin or rum cocktail and swapping out the alcoholic spirit for a delicious Stryyk alternative, the operator can extend their alcoholic and non-alcoholic offerings at the same time.”

Outlining plans for Pierre Chavin, Mathilde Boulachin added: “We are planning a lot of activation in 2020 to stimulate our brands, including the launch of new formats and new grape varietals to develop our core range of drinks.  We will also help people discover our beverages though events and festivals and will be inspiring new drinking occasions through the launch of mocktails.” 

Familiarity is a friend

The three brands all highlight the importance of training front of house staff to demonstrate their expertise across the entire range of drinks stocked, including low and no alcohol.  This means ensuring the quality of serve or familiarising staff with the drinks on offer.

And drink familiarity is expected to be of the utmost importance when it comes to widening the consumer base within this category. 

If a consumer already knows and loves a mojito – one of the most popular cocktails in the world – they’ll be far more likely to purchase an alcohol free version than anything unique.  

For further information and to register for tickets to Low 2 No Bev show, visit https://www.low2nobev.com

Join the Low 2 No revolution!

More than 70 exhibitors are already confirmed for the Low 2 No Bev show! These include:

Highball Alcohol Free Cocktails; Gusto Organic; Wildlife Botanicals; Hayman’s Gin; All Natural Drinks; Pierre Chavin; Britvic; Ikoyi Chapmans; Senser Spirits; Binary Botanical; Gen!us Brewing; NONSUCH; Amplify; Lyre’s; LA Brewery Kombucha; Ceder’s; Big Drop Brewing Co; 6 O’clock Gin; ISH Spirits; Fentimans; Stryyk; Real Kombucha; Nine Elms; Drynks Unlimted; Small Beer; Campari; Lucky Saint; Kolibri Drinks; Linderman’s; Diageo; Everleaf; Thomson & Scott; Lighthouse Brands; Caleno Drinks; Lautus De-Alcoholised Wines

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