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Weekly Newsletter from PROOF Insight

18 August 2023

PROOF’s Moderating Consumer Report; Poor weather dampens on-trade; Takeaway pints continue

Research news

Waitrose expands no/low range as moderation ramps up

Waitrose has partnered with Diageo to highlight the supermarket’s 70-SKU no-low offering. The partnership will see 60% more space dedicated to no/low in time for the December peak in sales and comes off the back of Waitrose reporting 20% growth in no/low sales in the past year.

PROOF’s Intelligence Report – The Moderating Consumer – revealed that 19.1 million UK adults are permanently moderating or avoiding alcohol, with 51% planning to further moderate their alcohol intake in the future. Despite the growth in moderation, no/low remains small – only 5% of moderating consumers (the main target audience) regularly drink alcohol-free spirits and 9% regularly drink alcohol-free beer. Furthermore, no/low beer currently makes up around 2% of beer volume in the UK off-trade and already accounts for more than 2% of beer shelf space.

Drinking soft drinks (31%) and simply drinking fewer drinks (27%) proved to be more popular moderation techniques than drinking no/low, so there is some risk behind dedicating even more shelf space to the category. However, the off-trade is the best place for it, with 49% of consumers looking to supermarkets and shops for new drink inspiration, compared to 25% in pubs and bars. Furthermore, Diageo’s portfolio of no/low versions of well-known brands will help, as consumers are more likely to purchase recognised brands.

Sources: PROOF Intelligence – The Moderating Consumer, Drinks Business

The Moderating Consumer Report

Industry news

July weather dampens the on-trade, but benefits English wine

Weekly sales in managed venues in the week to Saturday 5th August were down 6% compared to last year. This includes a fall of 16% on Sunday at the end of the wettest July on record, whereas 2022 saw weather of high 20s Celsius. Cider and spirits saw the biggest declines of 15% and 11% respectively, whilst wine saw a 1% increase in sales. This isn’t the only good news for wine, English growers are expecting record yields after a dry June and wet July.

Sources: The Drinks Business, The Morning Advertiser

Pubs allowed to sell takeaway pints, but new duty rules provide a barrier

Lockdown rules allowing pubs to sell takeaway drinks were set to expire, meaning venues would have to apply for permission from their local council. Despite a consultation receiving just 174 responses, Rishi Sunak personally stepped in to allow the regulation to continue. Bodies including NTIA, UKHospitality and CAMRA support the decision, although new tax rules may prove a barrier to takeaway sales of draught beer and cider, as these would need to be purchased separately at a higher rate of duty than those sold to be drunk on-trade.

Sources: Morning Advertiser, Sky News

Strange brews & news

Roast Dinner Brown Ale… how far can craft beer go?

Northern Monk have further pushed the boundaries of bizarre craft beers with their collaboration with Aunt Bessie’s. The two Northern companies have produced a series of four beers based on traditional British cuisine – including a Roast Dinner Brown Ale, Jam Roly Poly Pale, Apple Crumble Pale and Sticky Toffee Pud Porter. Consumers will be able to find the bizarre creations in Morrisons from Wednesday.

Sources: JOE.co.uk

Investments, acquisition and openings

  • Baileys’ owner Diageo is investing £26m in its expansion of the Irish cream liqueur factory
  • Trust Inns purchases three pubs from Dundas Heritable
  • Bob Bob Ricard to open rotisserie chicken concept in Soho
  • Hertfordshire concept Chez Burton is set to open a second site
  • Vinoteca is in discussions to find new backing after filing a court notice of intention to appoint administrators
  • Immersive experience company The Everywhere Group is crowdfunding to support the opening of ten new sites
  • Vegan pizza concept Purezza vies to raise £5m funding to aid London expansion
  • Grays & Feather are set to open two new London wine bars, in Brixton and Leadenhall Market

Sources: Propel, Spirits Business

Product launches and campaigns

  • Haig Club and David Beckham have ended their partnership after 9 years, the ex-footballer is said to launch his own spirits brand
  • Greene King releases limited-edition cask ale, a double dry hopped IPA, called Mischief Maker
  • Captain Morgan releases a Black Spiced Rum, designed to be served neat, mixed with ginger or cola, or in cocktails such as the Old Fashioned
  • Britvic has launched three new mixers that allow bartenders to easily create cocktails: Mojito, Pina Colada and Strawberry
  • Beavertown Brewery has rereleased its Tropigamma 5.4% tropical IPA
  • Scotch whisky brand Smokehead has released a Twisted Stout single malt, finished in stout casks
  • Double Dutch adds Elderflower Tonic Water to range
  • Healthy eating concept Farm Girl reimagines customer loyalty programmes, launching one using NFTs

Sources: Morning Advertiser, The Spirits Business, Propel

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Heverlee 0623
Heverlee 0623