Hard time for alcohol with soft drinks set to surge

Almost half of consumers (45%) are set to buy more soft drinks at Christmas with more than one in five (21%) planning to drink less alcohol.

Some 37% also planning to spend more on soft drinks than previous festive seasons, increasing to over half (56%) of consumers aged 16-24.

The research, conducted by Censuswide UK for soft drink manufacturer Britvic, also indicates that of those consumers planning to reduce their alcohol consumption this Christmas, 39% now drink less alcohol all year round, increasing to 41% amongst those aged 25-34 and 46% for those aged 55 and over. Around one in give (21%) consumers don’t think there are enough premium soft drinks to choose from.

The findings echo those published by Mintel in March, which showed that Brits are taking a “more conservative approach” to their alcohol consumption. Almost a third (32%) have reduced or limited their alcohol intake, with 51% of the nation’s beer, wine and cider drinkers drinking less alcohol than a few years ago.

 Mintel said this presents a significant opportunity for low-alcohol and alcohol-free beers, ciders and wines. However, brands need to look at the reasons why consumers are limiting or reducing their alcohol intake in order to increase their appeal – those looking to save money will want better value, whilst consumers keen to manage their weight and improve their health will want clearly labelled low calorie products.

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