Growing market for No alcohol/Low alcohol in today’s pub

Particularly at this time of year No alcohol/Low alcohol drinks make their presence felt in a variety of ways so publicans should consider offering a reasonably wide selection of NoLow products for good reason. Our Industry Report looks at what's out there in a considerably enhanced market.

According to figures from NielsenIQ No alcohol/Low alcohol drinks represented the only growth segment in the alcohol market last Christmas, with sales up 26% on the same period in 2020.

When NoLo sales are combined with the strong growth of soft drinks sales last Christmas, the signs are there that increasing numbers of Irish consumers will be choosing a more alcohol-free Christmas than heretofore.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be socialising in the pub.

Despite all the indications leading up to last Christmas, the Irish FMCG market managed to hold onto the extraordinary growth seen in 2020, according to Karen Mooney, Commercial Leader at NielsenIQ Ireland.

“As Omicron began to spread widely in the week running up to Christmas 2021, Irish shoppers redirected spend into the home which meant we avoided a sales decline.

“We also saw a return to pre-pandemic Christmas trends as consumers chose to spend less on alcoholic drinks and more on soft drinks and No/Low alcoholic beverages.”

Following Christmas last year some 4% of NielsenIQ’s survey respondents intended switching to a lower ABV product in January and this was most prominent among 18 to 24 year-olds at 6%.

The value of the NoLo market saw considerable growth in the week ending the 26th of December last at 20.6% compared to growth of just 9.4% the previous year over 2019.

Global data from IWSR indicates that nearly half (43%) of consumers now substitute NoLo for alcohol on some occasions. However less than 20% avoid alcohol completely.

“While January has become a popular month for people to cut back or abstain from alcohol” said IWSR’s Chief Operating Officer for Drinks Market Analysis Emily Neill, “interest in No- and Low-alcohol drinks has increasingly become a year-round trend among consumers across the world.”

On-trade demand

Health-consciousness is growing, manifesting itself in the drinks business in terms of No- and Lo-Alcohols, stated Licensed Vintners Association Chief Executive Donall O’Keeffe at its recent Conference, “We need to do a better job on that. There’s a clear consumer demand.”

This followed a member of the conference panel discussion group – Bodytonic Group’s Trevor O’Shea – pointing out that, “It’s only going one way with people drinking less and being more image-conscious, health-conscious etc. Non-alcoholic Guinness and Heineken0.0% are game-changers. People are going to the pub for a NoLo drink now.”

Another panellist, Noel Anderson of the Bridge 1859 and Lemon & Duke, agreed that in the last three years the trade has had to embrace the non-alcoholic trends out there – and margins are just as good for non-alcoholic drinks.

Enjoy the refreshing Italian taste of Peroni Nastro Azzurro this Christmas

New Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0% offers the same superior taste experience as Peroni Nastro Azzurro, but with 0.0% alcohol.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0% aims to serve occasions and social moments where beer-lovers seek a superior-tasting alcohol-free beer.

It’s crafted with superior Italian ingredients including the signature Nostrano dell‘Isola maize grown exclusively for Peroni Nastro Azzurro in Northern Italy to create the same uplifting Italian taste with 0.0% alcohol. 

Consumer testing revealed that 90% of tasters felt the flavour matched that of Peroni Nastro Azzurro and its high-quality taste was noted by 92% of the panel.

This new technology allows the same signature recipe as Peroni Nastro Azzurro (brewing since 1963) to be used and only after the characteristic aroma and taste profile of Peroni Nastro Azzurro is fully developed is the alcohol gently removed to deliver the crisp and refreshing Italian taste.

This Christmas whether meeting friends at a bar, or relishing time at home there are no limits to when and where consumers can enjoy Peroni Nastro Azzuro 0.0%.

BrewDog Punk Alcohol-Free

No alcohol got Punked up – all the flavour but none of the alcohol.

Say hello to the Punkiest non-alcoholic beer in town. Brewed with eight different hops from North America, New Zealand and Europe, juicy tropical fruit mixes it up with grassy and pine notes – all sitting on a solid malt bassline.

The bitter finish belies its ABV, rolling in at 35 IBUs, providing the perfect retort to those who push alcohol-free beer devoid of character.

BrewDog is on a mission to prove that alcohol-free does not equate to taste-free. Now it brings you a new alternative to the mainstream, a beer for those seeking a Point Of Difference at 0.5% ABV that brings all the attitude of the flagship Punk IPA.

No alcohol just got Punked up. This is Punk Alcohol-Free.

Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.

Rise of Low Tide

Low Tide, Kinnegar’s 1% Low Alcohol Pale Ale, is quietly muscling its way into an important position in the independent Donegal brand’s core range.

For a brewery such as Kinnegar, technical choices used by big breweries aren’t an option. A de-alcoholiser is not only prohibitively expensive, it also goes against the grain of Kinnegar’s brewing ethos.

“The challenge” explains Kinnegar’s Head Brewer Rick LeVert, “is in producing a traditionally-fermented low alcohol beer that we’d be happy drinking ourselves.

“To do this, we had to strip down the process and rethink how we brew, looking at everything from malt and yeast selection to mashing and sparging techniques.

“Low Tide took more than a few runs on our pilot system to get dialled-in and is still one of our more difficult beers to make.

“Pitching it at 1% ABV gives us the all-important bit of extra body we want to carry the hops.”

Low Tide is finished with a restrained dry hop, giving it a fresh, citrusy aroma resulting in a crisp, refreshing American-style pale ale – perfect for early risers or those simply keeping an eye on the units.

Gordons 0.0%

Made using only the finest distilled botanicals, just like Gordon’s London Dry Gin Gordon’s 0.0% provides the bold, Juniper-led character you know and expect from the brand. This makes it the perfect alcohol-free alternative to your usual choice of Gordon’s and tonic.

The innovation team at Gordon’s has combined years of expertise and historic gin-distilling knowledge to create a credible alcohol-free experience.

The botanicals used in Gordon’s 0.0% are individually immersed in water, heated and then distilled before being expertly blended together to capture the essence of Gordon’s in an alcohol-free alternative. This special distillation process is a closely guarded secret, known only to a handful of people, resulting in that Juniper-led taste expected from Gordon’s when choosing not to drink alcohol.

Gordon’s 0.0% is the choice for gin drinkers when they opt not to drink but are tired of compromising on taste and experience. Gordon’s 0.0% is also only 24 calories per serve, perfect to accompany Festive nibbles.

Santa Rita

Feeling the pinch this Christmas? Ireland’s favourite wine brand Santa Rita 120 delivers excellent value-for-money and outstanding quality. Try the crisp and zesty 120 Sauvignon Blanc with your Smoked Salmon starter or the 120 Pinot Grigio –  always a crowd pleaser. Or for those watching the calories or alcohol units, there’s the 120 De-alcoholised or De-Light range offering both white and red wines including the lightly floral Moscato and fruity Cabernet Sauvignon.

Give Lyre’s this Festive period  

Lyre’s award-winning Classico doesn’t just mimic an Italian Sparkling, it stands alone as a Premium non-alcoholic celebration in a bottle.

Whether you’re the designated driver, a moderate drinker or simply don’t want to worry about the morning after, Lyre’s is for those who wish to celebrate in style this party season.

Lyre’s Classico is exclusively available in Brown Thomas, Grafton Street, purchased in its very own gift box.

If you want to make your Lyre’s extra special, on December 3rd you can pop by the Grafton Street Store, taste a sample and have your bottle personally calligraphed!

Lyre’s Classico currently retails at €14. For more information on Lyre’s full collection, visit

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