More say yes to 'no' and 'low'

16 November, 2007

Non-alcoholic lager sales grew 9 per cent to £12 million in the year to October, despite volumes growing just 3 per cent to 68,000hl.

That may be

only a 0.4 per cent share of the total lager market, but a 9 per cent rise in a stagnant market is not to be sniffed at. The brands themselves may be too small to show up on Nielsen's rankings so far, but there is no doubt that alcohol-free versions of Cobra and Beck's, and lower alcohol beers such as Carling C2, are starting to make a name for themselves.

Brewers and retailers are talking about lower and no-alcohol products more than ever before, and they say it's because of customer demand -

not just because of the growing anti-alcohol movement in the government and media.

But non-alcoholic ales - yes, they do exist - aren't on the map yet. Whether British brewers, many of whom are very traditionally-minded, will do more to tap into this growing market remains to be seen - but they have a very long way to go to catch up with non-alcoholic lager.




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What makes wine special

Reaching the 50th instalment of Hemmingís Way is hardly the biggest milestone, but I donít need much of an excuse to pour myself a glass of champagne before getting dressed. Itís a better reason than I had for all 49 other instalments, anyway. Not that that stopped me.

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