This is thought to have been fuelled by initiatives such as ‘Dry January’ and the growing emphasis on health and wellness among consumers.
In response to this growing demand the wholesale supplier to the foodservice, retail and SME sector launched a dedicated NoLo section last November – the first wholesale group in Europe to do so – and it has piloted this in three of its branches with a view to rolling it out to the remainder of its branches this year.
Zero alcohol appears to be a key trend for 2019 as bars and restaurants get more creative with their Low and Non-alcoholic offerings according to the company.
This spike in sales appears to be additional to normal sales of alcoholic products in the on-trade.
Stephen Duffy from the Press Up Entertainment Group – which owns a number of high-profile outlets such as the Vintage Cocktail Club, the Liquor Rooms and Perluke & Periwig – pointed out that while NoLo sales really took off during ‘Dry January’, “We haven’t seen a reduction in our alcohol sales because of this trend but instead we’ve seen an increased number of occasions that people can drink non-alcoholic beer.”
Sheena Forde, Trading Director at Musgrave MarketPlace, added, “The demand for low and non-alcoholic drinks has been on the rise over the last year and it is set to increase further so it made sense for us to take the initiative and create a dedicated section for this category”.
The results to date have been “phenomenal” according to Sheena.
“This isn’t a trend that’s going away,” she concluded, predicting double-digit growth in this category over the next 12 months “as a result of new product launches and innovations”.