Third of Brits admit to cutting down on alcohol

March 13th, 2017 | Posted in: News

Stocking a wider range of low-alcohol and alcohol-free drinks could be a smart move for licensees as new research finds as many as a third of Brits have limited or reduced their alcohol consumption at some point in the last year.

A recent Mintel survey revealed 32% of all Brits have reduced or limited their alcohol intake over the past 12 months, with over two in four (44%) admitting they have done so to save money.

Pubs and bars are proving popular venues for low alcohol brands, as a night out (26%) and a casual drink at the pub (22%) are when low-alcohol drinks most appeal to consumers if they are limiting or reducing their alcohol intake.

Those most likely to reduce their alcohol consumption are aged 25-34 (35%) and 35-44 (36%).

Half (51%) of the nation’s beer, wine and cider drinkers say they are drinking less alcohol than a few years ago.

Improving personal health (39%) is also a notable trigger for cutting down and a further 30% have cut-back to reduce the risk of disease, while 41% have done so to lose or avoid gaining weight.

Additionally, some 14% of all those who have cut back on alcohol have done so because they are worried about becoming dependent on alcohol and the same proportion (14%) have cut back to stay within current NHS and government guidelines.

What it means for the licensed trade

The fact that Brits are reducing the amount of alcohol they drink presents a significant opportunity for low-alcohol and alcohol-free beers, ciders and wines.

Today, lower-alcohol beer, cider or wine is drunk by around one quarter (23%) of alcohol drinkers, while overall, just 14% of Brits drink non-alcoholic or alcohol-free beer, cider or wine. Usage of lower-alcohol drinks is higher among men (26%) and significantly above average for 18-34-year-olds (41%).

Pubs and bars are proving popular venues for low alcohol brands, as a night out (26%) and a casual drink at the pub (22%) are when low-alcohol drinks most appeal to consumers if they are limiting or reducing their alcohol intake.

A taste more like standard-strength equivalents would sway nearly three in 10 drinkers (28%) to consume low-alcohol or alcohol-free versions of alcoholic drinks.

But overall, soft drinks are more popular than low-alcohol, alcohol-free versions of alcoholic drinks for all occasions.

For current alcohol drinkers, 41% say that if they were limiting the amount of alcohol they were drinking when having a casual drink at the pub then they’d pick a soft drink, compared to 29% who would pick a low-alcohol or non-alcoholic version of an alcoholic drink.

Richard Caines, Senior Food & Drink Analyst at Mintel, said, “Replicating the taste of standard-strength alcoholic drinks and changing perceptions remains a key challenge for low-alcohol and alcohol-free manufacturers.

“Alcohol-free versions of alcoholic drink brands also need to look at the reasons why consumers are limiting or reducing their alcohol intake in order to increase their appeal as an alternative to standard-strength alcoholic drinks.

“This includes offering bigger savings to those looking to save money, as well as prominently highlighting lower calorie content compared to standard-strength equivalents to those looking to better manage their weight and improve their health.”

The following two tabs change content below.

DRAM News Team

Editor at DRAM Magazine
DRAM magazine is Scotland’s leading monthly licensed trade magazine. It has been dedicated exclusively to the on-trade in Scotland for the past 23 years. It is independently owned, edited and published in Scotland. The DRAM is innovative, creative and original. First with the news, and the people in the news. Covering all the latest information on pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels in Scotland.

Latest posts by DRAM News Team (see all)


2017 Scottish Bar and Pub Award Finalists – Part 2

Tue 18th July 2017

Finalists for the following categories have now been confirmed. They are:- Bright Signals Social Media Award Buzzworks Life, Prestwick Drift... Read more.

July Brand News: Gin

Sun 16th July 2017

KOKORO GIN MOVES TO MANGROVE Kokoro Gin, a Japanese-inspired London Dry Gin, which launched in 2016, has agreed an exclusive UK distribution... Read more.

July Brand News: Cocktails

Sat 15th July 2017

FINNIESTON COMPANY TOASTS LAUNCH OF NEW WHISKY COCKTAILS A Glasgow-based drinks firm has announced the launch of a new range of unique Scot... Read more.

Sue Says July 2017

Sat 15th July 2017

Marketeers keep talking about how people want experiences these days. It’s not enough that the food is good, but the whole experience has ... Read more.

The Fox & Willow

Sat 15th July 2017

 The Fox & Willow is exactly the kind of place you’d like to open up on your doorstep. And for those living on Carrick Road, a short ... Read more.

Design Focus: The Salvation of Leith

Fri 14th July 2017

Based in premises that once upon a time barred Edinburgh citizens from entering, The Salvation of Leith is now an inviting proposition for e... Read more.

July Brand News: Whisky

Thu 13th July 2017

 NEW BRANDING TAKES SOUTHERN COMFORT BACK TO ITS ROOTS Southern Comfort has revamped packaging and new positioning, with it being marketed ... Read more.

News Shorts – July 2017

Thu 13th July 2017

Leonardo Hotels has opened its first establishment in Scotland after investing more than £6m in the refurbishment of a former Premier Inn s... Read more.

Martin Leonard takes over at Inver House as Stevenson leaves

Thu 13th July 2017

Inver House Distillers has appointed Martin Leonard to the position of Managing Director  following the news that  Graham Stevenson has jo... Read more.

Design Focus: Brodies

Thu 13th July 2017

With so many new bars springing up across the country, it’s more important than ever to have fascinating design features that set you apar... Read more.

Moskito is put on the Market

Wed 12th July 2017

One of Glasgow’s best loved late night bars, Moskito, has been put up for sale by owner Neil Connolly, who opened the bar in 2000. A favou... Read more.

Design Focus: Rabble

Wed 12th July 2017

AnEdinburgh institution for nearly 20 years, Rick’s was a cocktail bar par excellence with a long list of regulars and a very well-regarde... Read more.

Charities Benefit from Buzzworks Holdings’ Pro-Social Bonus Scheme

Tue 11th July 2017

Buzzworks Holdings has revealed the four venues that came out on top with regard to their quarterly pro-social bonus scheme. Elliots in Pres... Read more.

From Good to Great

Tue 11th July 2017

It’s all change at Edinburgh based Montpelier’s. Susan Young caught up with David Johnston to find out all about the group’... Read more.

Star Chef Arrives At Forest Hills

Fri 7th July 2017

Elite chef James McCulloch Thomson is taking charge of the kitchen at the four-star Macdonald Forest Hills & Spa in Aberfoyle. Owned by ... Read more.

2017 Award Finalists – Part I

Fri 7th July 2017

The first raft of finalists for the Scottish Bar and Pub Awards 2017 have been revealed. Beginning with the BII Customer Service Award, the ... Read more.

Football Greats Assemble For Manorview Charity Match

Fri 7th July 2017

A host of former Celtic and Rangers players will take part in a charity match in Hamilton this Sunday to raise funds for football coaching i... Read more.

Work With Us During Brexit Says Whisky Chief

Thu 6th July 2017

Karen Betts, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), has stressed that the Scottish and UK governments need to work with the... Read more.

Heverlee To Launch New Cans and Bottles at Edinburgh Micro Festival

Wed 5th July 2017

Beer, food and electronic music will collide when Heverlee celebrate Belgian National Day with a three-day micro festival in Edinburgh later... Read more.

Glen’s Platinum Sponsors Scottish Music Fests

Wed 5th July 2017

Glen’s Platinum Vodka have partnered up with three UK music festivals – two of which take place in Scotland this August. The dri... Read more.