Waitrose sees surge in demand for alcohol-free alternatives over festive period

Waitrose has seen a surge in demand for alcohol-free alternatives over the festive period, as it predicted more people will be kicking off 2023 without a hangover.

The retailer found that sales of low alcohol drinks are already up by a third (+31%) in the past week, as people prepared to see in the New Year.

With wine sales up by 46%, doubling figures from 2020, more people are embracing low-alcohol alternatives than ever, demonstrating both an acceleration in people’s changing habits and bigger and better ranges.

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Low and alcohol-free wines have seen the biggest increase, with demand +46% compared to last week, while spirits and beers have also enjoyed a boost at +31% and +25% respectively.

It comes as the trend continues to make waves across social media, with the #AlcoholFree hashtag racking up more than 1.5 billion views on TikTok alone.

“Whether it’s a long term choice, or simply because you’re the designated driver, the market has come a long way in recent years, so it no longer needs to feel like a compromise,” wine buying manager for Waitrose, Jamie Matthewson said.

He added: “While there’s a noticeable trend amongst younger people, it certainly isn’t exclusive to any age bracket.

“It’s about drinking responsibly and finding what works for you. Some people may choose to forgo it completely, while others may opt for lighter options during the week.

“We’re also seeing people mix and match in the same evening; raising a traditional glass or two, before switching to alcohol-free drinks later in the night.”

The news comes as Waitrose has banned the sale of single-use vaping products in its stores over their negative impact on the environment and the health of young people.



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