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January 2020 was the nation’s driest yet

3 March 2020

  • January 2020 growth up 33%1 compared to January 2019 for low and no beer and cider category
  • HEINEKEN UK’s sales account for 50%1 of the overall growth of the category which is up 70%1 in 2019
  • Launch of Strongbow Dark Fruit Ultra Low Alcohol 0.5% adds a fourth drink to HEINEKEN UK’s growing low and no portfolio

HEINEKEN UK’s commitment to innovating and investing in low and no alcohol has paid off as it celebrates the stellar performance of its alcohol-free brands which helped grow the category 70%1 in 2019. With January 2020 up 33%1 on January 2019, last month marked the nation’s driest ever.

Driving growth is Heineken 0.0, the brand’s first alcohol-free lager.  Launched in 2017, it accounts for 25%1 of total category sales and in 2020 has become the #1 best-selling alcohol-free beer in the UK.

Michael Gillane, Marketing Director HEINEKEN UK said:

“We’re leading the way in shifting perceptions and offering choice for the growing number of people moderating their alcohol intake.

First, we’re challenging the image of no alcohol beer, for example in our latest global partnership with the James Bond movie franchise which features Daniel Craig enjoying a Heineken 0.0, and then we’re tackling its visibility and availability.  Pub-goers tell us a pint and a pub go hand-in-hand, so we’ve transformed how alcohol-free beer is served by being the first to make it available on draught.  Until recently it was hard to recognise low and no products on-shelf but by leading the charge with dedicated ‘Zero Zones’ in stores alcohol aisles, now the category stands-out. Improving the low and no shopping experience is important in supporting people’s shift towards mindful consumption.

This isn’t just a Dry January spike. Our sales data shows the low and no trend is a year-round movement that will accelerate. With continued investment and an ambition to gain share, we’re dedicated to making low and no even more accessible and exciting to UK drinkers.  By 2025 we expect the category to have incremental growth of 150%1.’’

Critical to HEINEKEN UK’s success is providing choice – from its roots with Heineken 0.0 to well-loved cider brand, Old Mout Alcohol-Free and premium beer brand, Birra Moretti Zero. It further expanded its portfolio in January, when it launched its fourth product, Strongbow Dark Fruit Ultra Low Alcohol 0.5%, appealing to a new generation of sober-minded consumers.

Outside the bottle, HEINEKEN UK has been investing considerably in marketing initiatives that drive not just its own sales, but broad category growth. Since 2017 it has been working closely with mindful drinking movement, Club Soda, a social business designed to help consumers make moderate choices and keep low and no products front of mind within the drinks industry.

Laura Willoughby, Club Soda Co-Founder said:

“Without a doubt, it is getting easier to take a night off from drinking without needing to compromise on what you drink. In the pub or at home finally, drivers, pregnant women and those moderating their drinking have some real choice. Hooray!”