Co-founder of alcohol-free gin brand Ceder’s Craig Hutchison told delegates at the event held at Shoreditch’s the Loft that operators need to put more of a focus on market of adults that are not consuming booze.
“One in five adults don’t drink alcohol at home and they have been neglected. How come if you’re not drinking alcohol, you don’t get the same options? We have seen a 30% rise in no-alcohol consumers since 2013,” he said.
“If we drank 14 units a week, the guidelines, alcohol sales would drop by 38%. That isn’t something to be worried about, there’s an opportunity there."
Hutchison added: “As a consumer, when you don’t drink alcohol, you get treated differently. On top of that, you have an impact on the social dynamic. We want to take all that stuff away and not impact the mood.”
He also outlined how the movement around non-alcoholic drinks came about via various points.
“Clearly lifestyle is one alongside a cultural fragmentation and explosion. Mindfulness is becoming mainstream,” Hutchison added.
“There’s a lot more focus on health and wellbeing and consumers want to know everything. On top of that, we have all got access to knowledge more than ever before.”
In order to get these consumers into pubs, he advised suppliers build “emotional brands” with authentic stories.
Hutchison added: “You have to also be a super-premium product because this is an adult product. We have got more work to do across the non-alcoholic category to improve the quality but things are getting better.
“We have gone against conventions. We have broken the big rule of gin because we don’t have any alcohol.”
The Spirits Summit, now in its fifth year, was powered by The Morning Advertiser in association with sponsors Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Warner Edward, Slingsby Gin, Starward and London Cocktail Week