Exploring Low and no alcohol options in UK supermarkets


Non-Alcoholic beer: almost like a misnomer, it never sounded appealing to most. Everyone’s different, but I’d attribute this to taste more often than not. Only a few years ago, the selection was poor to non-existent, the flavour often lacking, and many bars and pubs wouldn’t have them available.

Now, the alcohol and bar markets are adapting for the better; in recent years, the selection has increased tenfold. The idea of anonymous-looking bottles on the bottom shelf of the supermarket is outdated and has evolved into whole sections of non-alcoholic beers, wines, gins, whiskies, and vodkas, with major brands like Guinness, Budweiser, Gordon’s and Heineken creating their own non-alcoholic versions.

Exploring Low and no alcohol options in UK supermarkets

The market change can be attributed to various factors. The flavours, selection, and image of these drinks have improved considerably. It’s no longer uncommon to see patrons enjoying a non-alcoholic beverage in a bar or pub. This trend allows buyers to feel included when socialising with friends or family while still enjoying the convenience of driving home safely, the health benefits of avoiding alcohol, and the sometimes financial savings.

At Eat With Your Eyes, we seized the opportunity to delve deeper into this trend. Jackie and I, along with other senior designers, conducted market research for a new client looking to enter this growing market. We visited major UK supermarkets such as ASDA, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Morrisons, as well as M&S, Aldi, and Iceland, to understand their offerings. As expected, most larger supermarkets had similar selections. The gin selection mostly comprised different variants of Gordon’s, while wines offered a wide selection of Reds, Whites, and Rosés, all reasonably priced.

Exploring Low and no alcohol options in UK supermarkets

Beer remains the most prominent segment of the market. I was surprised to discover that brands like Staropramen, Corona, and Birra Moretti have their own non-alcoholic versions, along with bottled ciders, ales, and darker beers. However, it’s noteworthy that only larger brands offer their products in multiple pack sizes. Most ales and ciders are available only in individual bottles, possibly due to market research.

While beers, wines, and gins seem to have a healthy selection, whiskies, rums, and other spirits show potential for growth within the sector. The spirits section had limited options, with only one non-alcoholic whiskey mixer available alongside the gins. However, I anticipate this will change with more competition and growth into pre-mixed cocktails and canned mixed drinks.

Exploring Low and no alcohol options in UK supermarkets

Our research trip introduced us to new brands like Not Guilty wines, with eye-catching labels, and Big Drop Brewing Co. beers, with impressive can designs. Notably, Lucky Saint beers stood out with their eye-catching box design. These brands, solely non-alcoholic and without alcoholic alternatives, have gained traction in recent years.

Looking back, as consumers’ tastes and considerations for health, the environment come into play, this evolving market will continue to grow and diversify. With more brands entering the sector and expanding retailers’ offerings, the future looks promising.

James Boston. Eat With Your Eyes, Junior Account Manager

James Boston – Junior Account Manager

James has specialised in foodie marketing and photography, with over 7 years experience working within creative agencies. He spends his free time discovering new pubs and bars.