New research, from KAM Media, shows that a quarter of all visits to a pub now do not include alcohol. And with the predicted increase in non-alcoholic visits, 2-in-3 licensees are asking for further support to help them maximise the growing ‘low and no’ opportunity in their pubs.
The research, based on feedback from 1,000 UK adults, as well as 170 licensees, found that there are key opportunities to improve both the range of non-alcoholic drinks for customers, and also to better communicate the range available.
Better visibility & communication
“More than 1-in-2 consumers said they find it difficult to see which cans and bottles, behind the bar, are low and non-alcoholic versions of alcoholic drinks, or soft drinks specifically” comments Katy Moses, MD at KAM Media. “Improving the visibility and communication of the ‘low and no’ range available is key, especially with so many new and unfamiliar brands entering the category.”
“Many licensees are aware that they need further advice on how to better display and communicate their ‘low and no’ range” continues Katy Moses. “In fact, with more than 2-in-3 licensees want extra support on how to better satisfy these ‘low and no’ customers, it’s a great opportunity for collaborative growth.”
The research, carried out last month, aimed to find out the customer perspective on the ‘low and no’ drinking occasion. It found that 45% of consumers are currently satisfied with the ‘low and no’ range available in pubs, and 47% in restaurants.
The research also found that 63% of customers expect low and no alcohol variants to be cheaper than alcoholic equivalents, and 13% say the price actively puts them off purchasing.
“Some customers believe that the low and no variants are not that much cheaper than the alcoholic versions, so feel they’re getting a worse deal,” comments Katy Moses. “Pricing needs to be carefully considered, especially if it puts customer’s off trialling the products in the first place.”
Younger consumers less price conscious
Interestingly, GenZ and Millennials are much less bothered by price, the research found that 36% are happy to pay more for a good quality, low or no alcohol variant, only 19% GenX (over 35 years old) agree.
No and low moving into soft drink space
The research also highlights a huge opportunity for the off-trade; more than a third of UK adults have consumed a low or no alcoholic drink at home, this nearly doubles when looking at GenZ and Millennials specifically. Many consumers, particularly Gen Z and Millennials, are choosing low or no alcohol variants for either a ‘quiet night in watching TV’, or to ‘drink them with their evening meal’ at home, or even with lunch.
“Traditional soft drink brands would do well to sit up and take notice. Given the high proportion of consumers who are now drinking low and no variants at home, they are now moving into consumption occasions traditionally dominated by soft drinks. These companies now have serious new competitors, in the ‘out of home’ space at least, in the shape of the big brewers,” comments Katy Moses.
With 1-in-10 UK adults saying they have consumed a low and no variant with their lunch at home, and nearly 1-in-5 with their evening meal, it can’t be long before they appear as part of a meal deal.
“Consumers can be less intimidated in a supermarket or convenience store compared with a pub or restaurant; they can read and compare labels; the price points are also a bit lower for trialling new products and brands. It’s a safe way for consumers to take their first step into the category while they familiarise themselves with the different brands” continues Moses.
KAM’s research also identified that many licensees are excited about the ‘low and no’ opportunity, with two thirds having increased their range in 2019. Many (72%) see the growth of the low and non-alcoholic drinks category as an opportunity to upsell customers into more premium drinks than traditional soft drinks.
Kam Media showcased their latest research, at the ‘Low+No’ launch event, in central London earlier this month. Guest speakers included Laura Clark, Senior Marketing Manager at All Bar One, who shared their ‘low and no journey’, from 8 SKUs in 2017 to 20 SKUs in 2019. She also highlighted the real need for raising awareness and training among bartenders to ensure they can confidently advise customers on the relatively unknown low and no options.
Leading the way
Brewdog, shared the story of the birth of their first non-alcoholic beer, Nanny State, through to the opening of Brew Dog AF this month – the world’s first non-alcoholic beer bar - which has had an impressive first week.
Botanic Lab showcased their CBD infused drinks, which is a category predicted to grow in popularity. KAM’s research found that 13% of UK adults have now tried CBD and nearly 1-in-2 pub-goers are interested in trying CBD infused drinks.
No and low set to grow
More than 1-in-3 adults intend to cut down their alcohol consumption in 2020; 36% intend to consume more ‘low and no’ alcohol variants. This figure rises to more than 1-in-2 for GenZ and Millennials. KAM’s research shows that the ‘low and no’ drinking occasion is set to grow.
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