Surge in low and no alcohol alternatives’ popularity with young adults emerging as leading consumers

The UK  is seeing a huge rise in 18-24 year olds considering themselves either regular or occasional drinkers of low and no alcohol products.

The Portman Group’s sixth annual survey in partnership with YouGov shows that young people are the biggest consumers of low and no alcohol alternatives, with nearly half (44%) of 18-24 year olds surveyed considering themselves either an occasional or regular drinker of alcohol alternatives, compared to 31% in 2022.

Trends also show that the younger generation are now the most sober age group overall, with 39% of 18-24 year olds not drinking alcohol at all.

The results show how these products have contributed to increasing moderation among UK drinkers – with a rise in respondents who have seen their alcohol consumption decrease as a result of low and no alcohol products (23% compared to 21% in 2022 – excluding those who did not drink alcohol before first trying a low and no alcohol alternative).

Over a third (35%) of those surveyed now consider themselves an occasional or regular drinker of alcohol alternatives – a significant increase from 2022 (29%).

The research indicates how low and no products have become an important and normal part of how the UK public moderate their drinking and tackle potential harm – with three quarters (75%) of UK drinkers having at least tried a low and no alcohol alternative, compared to a third (33%) of non-drinkers.

For the sixth year in a row the most popular reasons to drink alcohol alternatives are to avoid drinking excessively at social events and being able to drive home.

Of those who could recall, UK consumers most often drink these products alternating with alcohol or on drink free days during the week and 83% first tried an alcohol alternative through a product which shared branding with an alcoholic product.

Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group said: “he availability of alcohol alternatives has never been more abundant and we eagerly await the outcome of the recent UK Government consultation on low alcohol descriptors, which we hope will further facilitate the growth of the UK low and no alcohol market.”

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