Waitrose to clear wine shelf space for alcohol-free products

The British retailer plans to give alcohol-free products 60% more space ahead of Christmas season.

As more people returned to the office and hybrid working - and as hospitality has opened up - off-license sales fell 19%.

One of the UK’s key supermarket wine retailers plans to reduce its allocated shelf space for wine to make room for more alcohol-free products in the coming months, according to The Drinks Business.

Waitrose will introduce designated alcohol-free areas, marked out with blue signage, across 253 of its stores, giving the booze-free category 60% more space.

“Demand for low-alcohol and alcohol-free drinks is growing at a phenomenal rate,” Pierpaolo Petrassi, head of beers, wines and spirits at Waitrose, told The Times.

“It’s now the norm for customers to buy both. We expect this year to be the biggest year to date for sales [of alcohol-free], and are preparing for strong demand at Christmas.”

Waitrose has added 10 new low-alcohol and alcohol-free products to its own range this year, as well as booze-free versions of favourite alcohol beverage brands such as Guinness, Tanqueray and Gordon’s.

The retailer expects to increase its alcohol-free offering further still before the Christmas build-up.

Recent data from Kantar found  that nearly half of adults switch between alcoholic and alcohol-free drinks during any given drinking occasion.



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