Figures published by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) suggest that under lockdown sales of no- and low-alcohol beer have grown by 14.8% (Nielsen Scantrack, four weeks to 21 April 2020)
In the four weeks prior to that (four weeks prior to 21 March), just before the lockdown was announced, Nielsen figures show no- and low-alcoholic beer sales surged by 33% year-on-year.
A recent survey by YouGov found that 16% of Brits claimed to be drinking less or not at all during lockdown and Nielsen research claims to show a trend of shoppers becoming more health-conscious during the lockdown period to date – with 39% of UK shoppers aiming to prepare healthy and well-balanced meals, and 26% also trying to prepare light or low-calorie meals according to its figures.
The increase in sales of low- and no-alcohol beer during the last few years follows a huge amount of investment and innovation into the category by UK brewers, which has helped to drive growth according to the BBPA.
Despite this growth in sales… this will be nowhere near enough to offset the lockdown of pubs and fall of beer sales from it
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: ‘The boom in the popularity of low and no beer is very encouraging and clearly providing people with a good alternative to an alcoholic pint in the pub during this period of lockdown.
‘A lot of innovation has gone into making great tasting low- and no-alcohol beer so with a bigger range of low- and no-alcohol beers than ever before, I encourage beer drinkers to give them a go!’
Despite this growth in sales during the COVID-19 crisis and growing retail sales of the overall alcohol category, the BBPA pointed out that this will be nowhere near enough to offset the lockdown of pubs and fall of beer sales from it. Particularly as seven in 10 alcoholic drinks sold in pubs are beer.
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