The market for non-alcoholic drinks has indeed been long ignored (“Only the beer gets drunk”, February 17th). Yet the trend towards sobriety continues. A poll from YouGov showed that 3.1m Britons attempted Dry January this year and 72% of those who took part are likely to maintain lower levels of drinking six months after. Demographically, 16-24 year olds drink less than any other age group.
But the marketing of low-alcohol versions of beer and wine is wrong. Simply watering down or removing alcohol from the staple offerings of beer and wine reinforces the perception that drinking alcohol is the desirable norm. It shows a lack of understanding of the positive reasons why people choose to forgo alcohol. The brands that can come up with exciting propositions that aren’t defined solely by their lack of alcohol will be the winners in this new market. A non-drinker is far more likely to champion a product made with their tastes in mind, and not just promoted as “booze-free booze”.