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The importance of offering Low & No alcohol options to drinkers

Q. How important is it now for pubs and bars to have a low and no alcohol alternative on offer?

As consumers become more health conscious, they are actively seeking out venues that offer a broad range of low and no alcohol alternatives that provide customers with a real choice. With spend becoming tighter, venues that can service this need will drive real loyalty; something especially true amongst 18-34 year old’s who are becoming increasingly important to the On-Trade. This audience are less likely to be impacted by the cost-of-living crisis and therefore likely to visit the On-Trade more than other age groups. With one in three 18–34-year old’s drinking Kopparberg1, our brand is key in appealing to this important consumer.

Whilst January is the perfect time to start communicating this offer with it high on consumer agendas, the demand for healthier options is strong all year round so developing an all-year offer is vital in meeting consumer demands and driving footfall. Locking in consumers early will drive loyalty and keep them coming back throughout the year.

A strong alcohol-free range should form the basis of this offering, with the category continuing to go from strength to strength and becoming a mainstay within drinkers’ repertoires all year round. As when drinking a full-strength product, consumers are looking for their favourite brands, meaning breadth of choice and stocking the big hitters is key here. The right alcohol-free offering will drive real cash in the till, providing a higher value trade up from soft drinks.

Q. Do you think there is more awareness and interest in the calories and ingredients in drinks than there was in the past?

Whilst the calorie content may still be a consideration, it becomes less important part of the decision as when played off against the drink containing no alcohol, it is deemed a fair compromise. Even when consumed as part of an alcohol occasion (as 58% of alcohol-free drinks are3), consumers are still seeing the real benefit in this choice as being the reduction in alcohol intake. It is key to remember that most alcohol-free consumers are also purchasing full strength drinks so a poor alcohol-free range will also impact alcohol sales.

When looking to moderate alcohol intake, the most important factor for consumers is the taste of the drink, with them wanting a taste and occasion experience as close to drinking a full-strength drink as possible. Ultimately, products that can deliver this will drive consumers to trade up from soft drinks and as the best tasting cider brand in the UK1, Kopparberg’s range of alcohol-free products does just that. Our position as the bestselling alcohol-free cider brand in the UK1 has been built on having a range that delivers as close a drinking experience to the full-strength range as possible. This has led to the brand having more drinkers than any other alcohol free brand2, meaning stocking the brand will satisfy the large proportion of your customers seeking fruit refreshment, even when cutting back.

Q. What advice can you provide operators to help them promote their healthier offers to their customer base?

Driving visibility of your alcohol-free range is essential, as although the category continues to grow rapidly, awareness is still relatively low with consumers and as they can drive real trade up from soft drinks, letting your customers know about your range is a great way to get more cash in tills. Ensuring they are featured on menu is a must but also look to include within promotions as well to drive trial. Drinkers choose an alcohol-free drink the same way the would a full strength drink so structure this section of your menu the same as the rest of it.

POS in venues is another great way to drive visibility, especially as these valuable consumers are actively seeking out these drinks- make it easier for them to find and order alcohol free drinks and they will reward you with year-round loyalty. Speak to your suppliers to get hold of items to create more disruption in venue.

You can find and order POS support for your Kopparberg alcohol-free range by visiting our POS hub.

  1. Gusto Research, Internal Brand Tracking, All UK adults (2,108) weighted base, omnibus survey 22nd to 24th April 2022
  2. CGA on premise measurement data to 18/06/22
  3. IWSR, “What’s driving growth in the no- and low- alcohol space?”