Major change to Brits’ boozing habits revealed as alcohol sales plummet

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SALES of low and no alcohol beers were 25 per cent higher last month than in Dry January, figures show.

And booze sales overall are down six per cent on last year — reflecting a focus on health and better alcohol-free versions.

Sales of low and no alcohol beers are soaring

January usually sees a surge in sales of zero per cent beer as people ditch alcohol in the first month of the year.

They then dip again as people go back to the real thing.

But this year, sales have remained high — with low/no alcohol up six per cent on a year ago across all stores, analysis by Circana shows.

And in pubs, sales are up 23 per cent with nearly nine in ten boozers offering at least one option, the British Beer & Pub Association found.

Richard Lee, from market research group Kantar Worldpanel, said: “There are two factors at play.

“Firstly, we are seeing a gradual, long-term rise in moderation from drinkers increasingly seeing the health and well-being value of lighter alcohol offerings.

“Secondly, the no/low options now available are more varied and much better quality than they were a few years ago.”

This January was the first with a non-alcoholic version of popular beer Peroni and zero per cent Guinness was also more widely available.

Jess Edmondson, beer buyer at Tesco, said: “The boom is due to the number of authentic-tasting products now available from brewers who are using high quality ingredients and more advanced methods.

“This revolution’s grown quickly in the last five years and instead of the thin-tasting alcohol-free beers on the market then, shoppers can find fuller-bodied equivalents tasting like the real thing.”

Luke Boase, of no and low alcohol beer brand Lucky Saint, added: “The idea that you have to apologise for not drinking is fading.”