June 22, 2021

How the ‘less but better’ drinking trend promises to disrupt food NPD

Overall, UK consumers are drinking less than they were in 2020, according to Kantar data….

Overall, UK consumers are drinking less than they were in 2020, according to Kantar data. People enjoyed 11 servings of alcohol per week in the 12 months to March 31 2020 compared to 10.8 in the same period in 2021, Kantar Worldpanel Alcovision data show. Interestingly, though, the figures reveal a consistent rise in the amount people pay per litre of alcohol, which is a strong indicator of shoppers choosing more premium products.

“Trends suggest that many people are gravitating more towards the idea of drinking less but better,”​ said Michael Alcock, CEO of UK online craft beer retailer HonestBrew.

That’s down to a few reasons, he explained. People have sought out alcohol to make life more bearable during lockdowns. At the same time, consumers are more health conscious ever. Meanwhile, the ‘less but better’ drinking trend was actually kickstarted as far back as 2003 when legislation allowed more pubs to stay open beyond 11pm: a move which initiated a slow maturing of Britain’s infamous booze culture.

“It’s no longer about ‘how much I can get down me by 11pm’,” ​said Alcock. “People have moved away from that culture of bingeing and have a more relaxed attitude to alcohol. Because of that, people are starting to explore what they drink more.”

Drinkers are therefore enjoying a golden age of choice: from hoppy IPAs and pale pales, rich stouts and porters, lower alcohol ‘table beers’ and craft ciders, gins and vodkas. 

“Just like with food, people are being more considerate about what they drink and want to understand a bit more about the provenance of what they drink,”​ said the CEO.