In Focus

7.8m pints of low- and non-alcoholic beer to be sold in Dry January

Pubs are missing out on the ‘NoLo’ boom and drinkers are urged to support their local

After the excess beer, wine and bubbly during the festive season, it’s estimated that nearly eight million adults in the UK are currently having a month off the booze for Dry January. This is a 22% increase from the 6.5m in 2021, according to a report by UK charity Alcohol Change. 

While millions of drinkers are staying off the grog for 31 days, many will still enjoy a pint or two – just of the non- and low-alcoholic (NoLo) varieties. 

Research from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has revealed that 7.8m pints of low-alcohol beer are expected to be sold this month – but the trade body has warned that most drinks won’t be bought or consumed in pubs. 

Support your local during Dry Jan

Dry January represents another tough month for the pub industry after a year marred by Covid restrictions and lockdowns.  

Over the Christmas and New Year period it was estimated that pubs sold 37m fewer pints – a £300m loss in trade – and many will miss out on serving the millions of low ABV drinks sold this month as consumers stay at home and buy from supermarkets. 

The BBPA has urged drinkers to support their local during Dry January and enjoy the “large range of non-alcoholic lagers and ales that pubs now offer – including on draught”. 

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said it has been a “torrid Christmas” for pubs and they now “need the support of the communities they serve” in the difficult months ahead. “If more of the 7.8m pints of non-alcoholic beer we expect to be consumed this January are sold in pubs, it will be a big boost for our sector,” she said.

Low-bev sector ‘boom’

Dry January resolutions may have a big impact on the pub trade, but for the drinks industry the month coincides with a “boom in the low-bev sector”, the Evening Standard said.

Many of the world’s biggest drinks companies have created “new and improved” alcohol-free beers, with Diageo launching its Guinness 0.0 and Heineken and Carlsberg also having alcohol-free versions of their flagship labels. 

The UK’s NoLo market was recently valued at £143m by research firm Kantar. Under-25s are among the “most likely” to purchase alcohol-free drinks and brands are targeting the “burgeoning” sector, the Standard reported.

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