Over the past three years, no-alcohol spirits’ share of the overall spirits category has increased from 0.31% to 0.34%.
Value of the category has also changed from being worth £19.6m two years ago, it experienced a drop to £17.5m last year but has risen to £25.9m this year (according to moving annual total data to June 2018), highlighting a growth in value of 48% in the past year.
CGA commercial director Graeme Loudon said: “The current excitement around the 'no and low' category is driven by a changing consumer mindset where healthier choices and moderation are moving to the forefront."
Big drinks trend
He added: “On-trade retailers have highlighted no/low as the third biggest drinks trends from CGA’s recent Business Leaders survey and many brands have come through to fill this gap.
“Although the category still remains relatively small in the on-trade, with value share of spirits of just 0.4%, value growth of 48% against a backdrop of just 6% growth for the wider spirits market gives reason for many to get involved.”
The category is able to command a premium price point without paying duty, Loudon said, meaning operators have a great margin opportunity here.
“Although much is made of the growing proportion of the population who abstain from drinking alcohol, the greater proportion of no/low drinkers are not teetotal," he added.
“In beer, just 17% of no-alcohol/low-alcohol beer drinkers are abstainers, therefore, the category opportunity for no/low-alcohol spirits is to target existing spirits drinkers on their moderation occasions, creating a finished drink that mirrors an existing serve, such as a gin and tonic, looks to be the most efficient way of doing this.”
One brand that is all about no booze is alcohol-free spirit Seedlip, which launched its third drink this summer (July). The new launch followed the success of the brand’s first flavour Spice 94 in 2015 and its second variant, Garden 108, less than a year afterwards, entering the market in May 2016.
Grove 42, which has orange as its base flavour, is the third non-alcoholic spirit to join the Seedlip family. The drink is a “celebration of the orange, an adult, citrus blend of copper-pot distillates including bitter orange, mandarin, blood orange, lemongrass, ginger and lemon”.
The new spirit aims to deliver a bright, year-round flavour profile with orange zest and mandarin pith top notes, juicy blood orange undertones and spice character from the lemongrass and ginger.