While recent reports suggest people are drinking more alcohol than usual as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, the latest statistics from British grocer Waitrose & Partners have also demonstrated a surge in low and no alcohol drinks.
The latest figures reported by the supermarket reveal that the drink of choice for many is an alcohol-free option, with sales of low and no alcoholic beer up 50% compared to this time last year, closely followed by alcohol-free spirits, up 49%.
Searches on Waitrose.com also suggest the nation is becoming more creative with their low and no drinks, with searches for ‘virgin cocktails’ up 100% year on year.
With a wide variety of no and low alcoholic beers, wines, and spirits, as well as the many enticing soft drinks now available, it seems there is a growing interest towards booze-free alternatives. Searches for ‘non-alcoholic gin’ have seen a 211% increase year on year on Waitrose.com, while ‘non-alcoholic beer’ searches have increased by 29.8% and ‘non-alcoholic drinks’ by 157%.
As the trend towards customers looking to moderate grows, Waitrose has exclusively launched the Highs & Lows selection from Brewdog, a mixed pack containing 6 alcoholic beers and 4 non-alcoholic options.
Continuing with the trend, Waitrose has also launched two new drinks as part of its Scrumptious Summer private brand range. Grown-up, delicate flavors like elderflower and ginger are surging in popularity, with the new Elderflower Refresher and fruity Raspberry Ripple Cordial helping to quench the nation’s thirst.
Alex Valentine, No & Low Alcohol buyer at Waitrose & Partners comments; “The trend for low and no alcohol drinks has continued to grow over the last year and this has encouraged us to expand our range of non-alcoholic wines, beers and spirits. As more customers look to reduce their alcohol intake, they are able to use this growing range to creatively recreate their favorite tipples with even more ease and enjoy the delicious flavors without the need for alcohol.”
The art of mixology needn’t include alcohol, as Alex highlights with some top mocktail tips:
- “Using herbs and spices will introduce exciting flavors to your drinks as well as help elevate the natural flavors from the botanicals and fruit. Using garden herbs like basil or mint add a delicious freshness to mocktails whilst using woodier herbs like rosemary or thyme can help create a delicious depth of flavor”
- “Garnishes can create a real sense of occasion – use twists of lemon, a slice of strawberry or a cocktail umbrella to bring your drink to life”
- “Shake and stir! Just because you have no alcohol in your drinks, it’s still important to channel your inner Bond and shake (or stir!) your ingredients to help beautifully combine the flavors and ensure your drink is served perfectly chilled.”