More say yes to 'no' and 'low'

16 November, 2007

Non-alcoholic lager sales grew 9 per cent to ú12 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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Looking back to look forward

Wine is a liquid time capsule. Drinking older vintages not only recalls the weather conditions and winemaking styles of the past, it encourages us to reflect upon our own histories. Such reminiscence often inclines towards romanticised nostalgia. Especially after the second bottle. But looking back is a great way of learning about the future.

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