More say yes to 'no' and 'low'

16 November, 2007

Non-alcoholic lager sales grew 9 per cent to 12 million in the year to October, despite volumes growing just 3 per cent to 68,000hl.

That may be

only a 0.4 per cent share of the total lager market, but a 9 per cent rise in a stagnant market is not to be sniffed at. The brands themselves may be too small to show up on Nielsen's rankings so far, but there is no doubt that alcohol-free versions of Cobra and Beck's, and lower alcohol beers such as Carling C2, are starting to make a name for themselves.

Brewers and retailers are talking about lower and no-alcohol products more than ever before, and they say it's because of customer demand -

not just because of the growing anti-alcohol movement in the government and media.

But non-alcoholic ales - yes, they do exist - aren't on the map yet. Whether British brewers, many of whom are very traditionally-minded, will do more to tap into this growing market remains to be seen - but they have a very long way to go to catch up with non-alcoholic lager.




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Richard Hemming MW asks: what’s the next step for indies?

In the not-too-distant future, when all humans are born with inbuilt VR headsets and Trump is Supreme Commander of the Known Universe, how will students of wine look back on the present era of retail in the UK? And, in such a dystopian world, why would anyone care?

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