Waitrose has lined up a partnership with Gordon’s gin owner Diageo to highlight low and no alcohol drinks.

The activation includes dedicated low/no areas at 253 Waitrose stores across the UK, which will highlight the supermarket’s range of around 70 low alcohol and alcohol-free drinks.

The retailer said sales of the category have increased 20% in the past year, with beer continuing to grow apace. The dedicated area will see “60% more space” dedicated to low and no alcohol across the estate.

Pierpaolo Petrassi MW, head of BWS at Waitrose, said: “Demand for low-alcohol and alcohol-free drinks is growing at a phenomenal rate. It’s now the norm for customers to buy both. We expect this year to be the biggest year to date for sales and are preparing for strong demand at Christmas.”

He said the growth is down to customers wanting to moderate their alcohol consumption, and “heavily driven by the creation of new, great quality drinks”.  

“We’ve added 10 new low and alcohol-free products this year and will launch more before Christmas,” he said.

Nuno Teles, managing director Diageo GB, said: “We know that UK drinkers are becoming more sophisticated and thinking more about how much they drink, the alcohol-free and low-alcohol category plays a critical role in providing quality choices for those looking to moderate, without compromising on experience.

“However, barriers still exist when it comes to finding and understanding the options available. We are proud to partner with Waitrose to make it easier for consumers to know where to find alcohol-free and low alcohol options in store.”