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A third of pub visits are now alcohol free, research shows

Drinking the bar dry: A third of pub visits are now alcohol free, research shows

  • Research saw 55 percent of us have fewer than ten units of alcohol per week
  •  The NHS saw 60 per cent of adults drank up to 14 units per week
  • ‘We need to rethink what we understand as a ‘non-drinker’ in the UK, says brewer
  • A raft of major brewers have expanded into non-alcoholic beers in recent years

 You might struggle to believe it with pubs heaving in the sunshine, but the temptation to sink a pint is waning – as research reveals almost a third of all pub visits are now alcohol free.

And the trend for lower alcohol consumption extends to restaurants, too, with 37 per cent of trips out to eat and 29 per cent of pub visits booze-free, according to a report from research firm KAM and tee-total beer producer Lucky Saint.

The figures come amid a wider reduction of alcohol consumption across the UK in recent years, with many doing so for health reasons. In 2019, the NHS found 60 per cent of adults drank up to 14 units per week. But the latest research showed 55 per cent of UK drinkers consume fewer than ten units of alcohol per week.

37 per cent of trips out to eat and 29 per cent of pub visits are now booze-free, according to KAM

Katy Moses, KAM’s managing director, said: ‘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. 

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 per cent since the start of 2021 amid a surge in demand after hospitality operators returned to growth following the pandemic.

He said: ‘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.

‘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.’

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