The prediction comes after the category saw its strongest sales ever in Tesco stores during 2023.
Compared to last year, demand for no and low alcohol beer has risen 20%, with no and low wine and spirit sales up 15% and 10% respectively.
Sales of no and low alcohol beer surged during the June heatwave in particular, with the first three weeks of the month representing a 25% increase in sales compared to the first three weeks of January. This is despite the growing ‘dry January’ trend that sees people quit alcohol for the month.
The supermarket giant credited the quality of alcohol-free alternatives, the improved range of options, ease of selection and a focus on moderation as the drivers behind the change in consumer behaviour.
Tesco no and low alcohol wine buyer Joe Olding said that the supermarket has made it easier than ever for consumers to find the products they are looking for by creating a dedicated aisle in stores across the UK.
“Based on the huge demand throughout the year we are anticipating this festive season to not only be bigger than Dry January just gone, but to be the biggest Christmas ever for no and low drinks,” continued Olding.
“A few years ago no and low alcohol drinks might have been a consideration to have on hand for special occasions but, as our latest sales data, shows they’ve become mainstream and are now popular all year round.”
Meanwhile, Karen Tyrell, chief executive of the charity Drinkaware, welcomed the fact that more people across the UK were drinking no and low alcohol drinks.
Tyrell added: “Drinking lower strength and alcohol-free products can be a helpful way for people to moderate their drinking and stay within the low-risk guidelines of 14 units a week. If you are unsure about how much you’re drinking, take our simple Drinking Check on the Drinkaware website."
Food Manufacture spoke to the founder of alcohol-free beer brand Infinite Session Chris Hannaway in August to discuss how the market for alcohol alternatives has changed and analyse the potential impact of alcohol duty rate reforms in the UK.