Waitrose introduces dedicated areas for low and alcohol free drinks

Demand for low alcohol and alcohol-free drinks is growing at such a fast rate that Waitrose is working with Diageo to introduce bold, dedicated areas in 253 shops across the UK to make it easier for customers to find Waitrose’s full range of over 70 low and alcohol-free drinks from beer and cider, to wines and spirits.

Over the past year sales of low alcohol and alcohol-free drinks have grown by 20% at Waitrose, with sales of beer continuing to grow the fastest. The introduction of dedicated areas means 60% more space will be given to low and alcohol-free drinks across our estate. 

Research commissioned by Diageo, found that seven in ten UK adults want to be able to find low alcohol and alcohol-free drinks more easily.

Kantar data found that 99% of UK shoppers have bought both low and alcohol-free drinks and alcohol over the past year. Separate Kantar research found that nearly half of UK adults (47%) are switching between alcohol and low and alcohol-free drinks at the same occasion, and two-fifths (40%) of adults say they want to moderate their drinking.

Pierpaolo Petrassi, Master of Wine, and Head of Beers, Wines and Spirits at Waitrose said; “Demand for low-alcohol and alcohol-free drinks is growing at a phenomenal rate. It’s now the norm for customers to buy both.  We expect this year to be the biggest year to date for sales and are preparing for strong demand at Christmas.

“The growth is down to our customers wanting to moderate their alcohol consumption, but is also heavily driven by the creation of new, great quality new drinks such as Guinness 0.0, Tanqueray 0.0 and Gordon’s Pink 0.0. We’ve added 10 new low and alcohol-free products this year and will launch more before Christmas.”

Nuno Teles, Managing Director Diageo GB, said: “We know that UK drinkers are becoming more sophisticated and thinking more about how much they drink, the alcohol-free and low-alcohol category plays a critical role in providing quality choices for those looking to moderate, without compromising on experience.

“However, barriers still exist when it comes to finding and understanding the options available. We are proud to partner with Waitrose to make it easier for consumers to know where to find alcohol-free and low alcohol options in store. Diageo has a long-standing commitment to promote responsible drinking and this partnership demonstrates what is possible when brands and retailers work together to enable greater consumer choice and experience.”

Neil O’Brien MP, Minister for Primary Care and Public Health welcomed the initiative saying: 
“The government wants to create a supportive environment to help individuals who want to reduce their alcohol consumption, including through encouraging substitution of alcoholic drinks with no and low alcohol alternatives.

“We welcome this initiative to increase the availability and to improve signposting of no and low alcohol alternatives in stores.”

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