This is a question that we are faced with on a daily basis, and it’s a really valid question to ask!
As we all know, alcohol has been around for thousands of years - It’s a £68 billion pound industry in the UK compared to the alcohol free industry bringing in on average £119 million.
While this might seem tiny in comparison, The no and low category has reached an all time high in the last 3 years. It’s expected to grow by 34% by 2024.
Alcohol free beverages have come a really long way over the past 20 years, with new independent companies coming to the fort to revamp the entire experience with new flavours, improved taste and supporting mental health awareness.
However, with any new sector, batch sizes are much smaller compared to big companies like Heineken. Like anything new that comes to market, it takes time for businesses to grow to be able to increase their operation to bring the overall cost down. Therefore, the only way for the alcohol free industry to provide tipples at a lower cost is by supporting the brands you love!
Another factor to consider is the processes that some businesses go through to create alcohol free drinks. A lot of non alcoholic drinks actually begin with alcohol, which is steam distilled to strip away the alcohol. When done this way it can remove some of the flavour during production, therefore companies have to add extra ingredients to get it just right.
It’s much more challenging to create an alcohol free or low alcoholic drink, which is why currently companies can’t compete with the giants of the alcohol industry just yet!
The last niggling thought is tax. While tax is not applied to non-alcoholic drinks, the small cost saving is used up to include natural ingredients to add unique profiles to the drinks. The no and low category concentrate on quality to give you a premium experience by having to use extra ingredients to give you that wow factor.
Like anything in life, whatever is good for us health wise is usually more expensive than the mass produced unhealthy things. Sometimes we have to pay that bit extra to support our wellbeing.
If we continue to support smaller businesses, they will grow and will be able to reduce the cost and pass that saving onto us.
Let’s turn acorns into trees! 🌳