A YouGov survey has revealed that 44% of UK adults between the ages of 18 to 24 occasionally or regularly order low or non-alcoholic drinks over alcoholic beverages.
The study, carried out in conjunction with industry body Portman Group, found that 44% of 18 to 24 year olds consider themselves to be either occasional or regular drinkers of alcohol alternatives, a figure up from 31% in 2022.
Results also showed that the 18 to 24 year old age group was increasingly shunning booze altogether, with 39% of respondents saying they did not drink alcohol at all.
The results show how these alternative products have contributed to increasing moderation among UK drinkers, with a rise in respondents who have seen their alcohol consumption decrease as a result of low and no alcohol products (23% compared to 21% in 2022). Over a third (35%) of those surveyed now consider themselves an occasional or regular drinker of alcohol alternatives, a significant increase from 2022 (29%). Three-quarters (75%) of UK drinkers have at least tried a low and no alcohol alternative, compared to a third (33%) of non-drinkers.
“It is welcome to see a further rise in the popularity of low and no alcohol alternatives as well as further evidence of how they are an important tool to help UK drinkers, particularly younger adults, to drink responsibly,” Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group said.
“The availability of alcohol alternatives has never been more abundant and we eagerly await the outcome of the recent UK Government consultation on low alcohol descriptors, which we hope will further facilitate the growth of the UK low and no alcohol market.”
Alcohol continues to be one of the most widely abused drugs in the UK, with the NHS reporting 980,000 thousand estimated hospital admissions for alcohol-related reasons in England alone during 2018/19. In the USA, where many states have loosened regulations regarding access to cannabis for adults, numerous studies have shown that the legalisation of cannabis leads to lower use of alcohol, as well as cigarettes and pain medications, by young adults.