MORE than a third (36%) of Welsh drinkers are semi-regular consumers of low and no alcohol products, higher than the rest of the UK, according to the fourth annual online YouGov study commissioned by the Portman Group.

This represents more than a 60% increase compared to 2020 when less than a quarter (22%) said they were semi-regular consumers of low and no alcohol.

Furthermore, a quarter (25%) of those Welsh consumers who have tried low and no alcohol say they are more likely to drink these products now compared to 15% who said this a year ago. 

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, the most popular reason for consumers in Wales who have tried low and no alcohol to drink these products continues to be ‘being able to drive home from social events’ (chosen by 42% of respondents). The other main reason is to socialise without drinking excessively with 36% of respondents, whilst 8% explicitly stated they currently alternated low and no products with regular strength alcohol to moderate their overall consumption. Reducing the possibility of health concerns or current medical reasons were also cited by 19% of consumers.

The survey also shows that almost a third (32%) of those in Wales who have tried low and no alcohol say that their subsequent weekly alcohol consumption has decreased since they first tried it. These results indicate that low and no alcohol could be an effective tool for people looking to moderate drinking, often whilst at home with COVID-19 remaining an ongoing concern. 

Across the UK there were increases in the number of low and no consumers. Almost one in three (32%) UK drinkers now ‘semi-regularly’* consume low and no alcohol products compared to one in four (25%) in 2020. English consumers come in at 32% up from 25%. 29% of Scottish consumers are semi-regular drinkers, up from 27%. 

It should be noted that alcohol drinkers are the main buyers of non-alcoholic products using them as alternatives to alcohol. Well over half (58%) of UK non-drinkers have never even tried a low/no product and just 14% are semi-regular* consumers.

In response to the figures, Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group – the alcohol social responsibility body and marketing regulator said: “Low and no alcohol consumption is on the rise across the UK and, as these figures show, Welsh consumers have particularly embraced this trend. The increase during the pandemic indicates that many UK drinkers have looked to moderate their alcohol consumption by swapping with non-alcoholic options. These figures show the fruits of industry innovation and investment over the past decade to provide consumers with an array of lower alcohol options.”

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The 2021 survey was conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Portman Group. Fieldwork was undertaken on 9th-10th December 2021 and involved a total sample size of 2,079 adults, of which 102 were from Wales. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

In the 2020 survey, the total sample size was 2100 adults, of which 106 were from Wales. Fieldwork was undertaken between 14th – 15th December 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).