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Insight of the Day: Alcohol trends and the rise of zebra striping

Findings:

  • Rise of Moderation: A quarter of UK drinkers practice "zebra striping," alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in a single visit to pubs and bars.

  • Year-Round Moderation: Three out of four UK adults who drink are actively moderating their alcohol consumption throughout the year, not just during specific events.

  • Decline in Frequent Drinking: Fewer UK adults consume alcohol more than once a month, with a notable increase in those trying low- and no-alcohol beer.

  • Pub's Enduring Popularity: Despite younger people drinking less, pubs remain a central hub for social connection.

  • Demand for Quality Alcohol-Free Options: A clear demand exists for better non-alcoholic choices, with many leaving venues early due to poor offerings.

  • Non-Drinker Influence: Non-drinkers significantly influence the choice of venue, especially among younger groups.

  • Zebra Striping on Weekends: Moderation, including zebra striping, is most common during weekends.

  • Acceptance of Alcohol-Free at Work: A majority find it acceptable for colleagues to drink alcohol-free beer at work.

Key Takeaway:

The UK is increasingly embracing moderation in alcohol consumption, with zebra striping becoming a popular trend. This shift presents a significant opportunity for the alcohol-free beverage market.

Trends:

  • Zebra Striping: Alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks is gaining momentum.

  • Year-Round Moderation: Moderation is no longer limited to specific occasions.

  • Growing Demand for Alcohol-Free: Consumers are actively seeking better non-alcoholic options.

  • Non-Drinker Influence: Non-drinkers are increasingly influencing social venue choices.

Conclusions:

  • The moderation trend is reshaping the UK's drinking culture, with younger generations leading the change.

  • Pubs and bars need to adapt by offering a wider range of high-quality alcohol-free options to cater to this growing demand.

  • The alcohol-free beverage market is poised for further growth as moderation becomes more mainstream.

Implications for Brands:

  • Alcohol-Free Innovation: Invest in developing high-quality, diverse alcohol-free beverages to appeal to a wider audience.

  • Promote Moderation: Market alcohol-free options as part of a balanced lifestyle and highlight their benefits.

  • Cater to Non-Drinkers: Ensure venues offer a welcoming and inclusive environment for non-drinkers, with appealing non-alcoholic choices.

  • Target Younger Demographics: Focus marketing efforts on younger generations who are driving the moderation trend.

  • Collaborate with Venues: Partner with pubs, bars, and restaurants to improve the availability and visibility of alcohol-free drinks.

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