According to CGA data, Beck’s Blue is still the biggest low and no-alcohol beer in Britain’s pubs after a 3.8% increase in volume and a 6.1% boost in value in 2019 – taking its total sales value to more than £20m.
However, 123% increases to both volume and value have seen second-placed Heineken 0.0 close the gap – selling £7.7m more of its alcohol-free variant in the past 12 months to take its total sales to £13.9m.
The pair are by far and away the best selling no and low-alcohol beers in British pubs, with the overall sales value of third-place pour San Miguel 0,0 reaching £2.4m in the past year after respective 27.7% and 30.9% increases to volume and value.
Rounding off the top five best-sellers are Erdinger Alcoholfrei and Bavaria 0.0 in fourth and fifth respectively with the latter breaking into this year’s Drinks List after achieving 43% increases to both volume and value – the second strongest growth of the brands making this year’s list.
The rise of low and no
According to The Morning Advertiser’s (MA) Beer Report 2019, the most dramatic growth in the on-trade beer market, according to CGA, is coming from the low and no-alcohol sector with overall on-trade sales increasing by 39% from 43,479 hectolitres in 2018 to 60,496.
There have been a raft of launches in the low-ABV beer category in the past 12 months, notably BrewDog’s low-alcohol twist on flagship beer Punk IPA, Punk AF, and Brooklyn Brewery’s 0.4% pour arriving in the UK.
Globally, the adoption of low and no-alcohol alternatives has taken “surprisingly little education” according to Athletic Brewing’s founder Bill Shufelt. “The UK is right on the frontier of modern health trends and has been a leader in trends towards moderation in recent data,” he explains. “Anywhere good food and beer is enjoyed, we will have a home.
“Words like ‘sober’ and ‘teetotal’ are very outdated – people can be sober forever, a year, a week, a day or an hour. It's just outdated – people want to feel good and not be impaired sometimes.”
However, despite recent growth in the category sales of low and no-alcohol beer in the UK still lag behind figures from the continent according to Lucky Saint Founder Luke Boase, who believes UK consumers still harbour a degree of cynicism and scepticism towards low-ABV pours.
According to MA’s latest Drinks List, the best-selling low and no-alcohol beers in the on-trade in 2019 were:
San Miguel 0,0