Diageo cites low & no opportunity in waiting

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Diageo research highlights low & no opportunity for pubs

Related tags The Low & No Project LowNoProject low2no Diageo

Drinks giant Diageo has claimed pubs are now responsible for 53% of non-alcohol drinks sales as the low & no movement advances.

Diageo cited research from CGA OPMS that stated value sales of alcohol-free drinks in all categories had grown by 39.3% in the UK by the end of 2023 versus 2022.

Within those categories it was alcohol-free beer doing a lot of the work as value sales lifted by 35.7% in UK pubs versus a year before while alcohol-free spirits saw a 13.2% uptick in UK pubs while globally that figure has risen by 33.3%.

Guests expect to find low & no at pubs

The drinks business that counts low & no brands Guinness 0.0, Captain Morgan Spiced Gold 0.0% and Seedlip among its portfolio said: “The on-trade is the go-to place for socialising.” It added the on-trade counts as the place where most occasions happen where alcohol-free is consumed while socialising with others.

Not only that, pubs and bars are where people expect to find alcohol-free offerings as its research found and 2025 will be a key year for the on-trade to be key for seekers of non-alcoholic drinks.

However, Diageo states “the inconsistency of the on-trade” struggles to give consumers the confidence to believe they will find the low & no drinks they would expect to find there.

It looked amazing

Case studies from Diageo showed the differing experience customers have faced. One said when they went into a pub that had a selection of low & no alcohol beers and non-alcoholic cocktails but when asking for a non-alcoholic spirit they were laughed at and told it wasn’t “that kind of pub”.

Meanwhile, another guest said when visiting a branch of The Alchemist: “The bar staff didn’t recommend anything as such, but said that whatever I usually like with alcohol I could have as a 0% option. It lived up to my expectation and more. It looked amazing like the other cocktails and I genuinely would not have known it was alcohol free from the taste.”

Key points gleaned from customers were that serve and service were important to them.

On the style and presentation of serve, respondents were more likely to go for low & no versions of their favourite cocktails because they “look more exciting”, “there’s more of a flavour experience” and it “feels better value”.

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