Barstaff bet on growth in low’n’no demand

Survey finds over 80% want to increase their range

It isn’t teetotallers driving the trend – most low & no customers are just ‘mindful’ drinkers.

More than four in five bars plan to increase their range of low & no alcohol drinks in 2023 to capitalise on consumers’ growing interest in healthier drinking, writes Gordon Davidson.

According to research by CGA by NielsenIQ, on behalf of non-alcoholic spirits brand CROSSIP, 67% of bar professionals have increased their range of low & no alcohol drinks over the past year, and 82% plan to do so over the next 12 months.

The ‘Leading the Way in No/Low Spirits’ report also found that nearly nine in 10 (88%) bars now offer low & no alcohol drinks, and a significant proportion (75%) of team members consume these drinks personally.

Of those surveyed, 41% think that low & no spirits will see the fastest growth over the next five years.

The CGA/ CROSSIP survey also found that 80% of bar staff feel that their primary target for low & no alcohol drinks are not teetotallers, just people modifying their drinking habits.

CROSSIP founder Carl Anthony Brown said: “It’s clear from this report that bars are rapidly expanding and improving their no & low alcohol menus. The days of a single alcohol-free beer in the fridge or spirit on the back bar are long gone, and no & low options now stand toe-to-toe with their alcoholic counterparts in the range and variety they offer.

“Bartenders are the true purveyors of new trends in the industry, and we at CROSSIP are proud to be supporting them with this research.”

Dave Lancaster, client director at CGA, added: “Bar professionals are helping to make the no & low alcohol category one of the most dynamic parts of Britain’s drinking-out market.

“With consumers’ rising awareness of the range and quality of drinks available, the segment is in prime position for more success in 2023.

“Understanding consumers’ needs, optimising range and innovating in flavours and serves will all boost bars in what is set to be another tough and competitive year.”