Harpers is reporting revealing insight into the changing habits of UK drinkers. The latest YouGov poll, conducted in partnership with the Portman Group, has highlighted a significant shift towards low and no alcohol beverages, particularly among the younger generation.
The survey, now in its sixth year, shows that nearly half of the 18-24 age group, at 44%, are either occasional or regular consumers of alcohol alternatives. This marks a substantial increase from 31% in the previous year, underscoring a growing trend among young adults. This demographic is now emerging as the most sober age group in the UK, with 39% of 18-24 year olds abstaining from alcohol entirely.
Further findings from the survey indicate a broader acceptance and integration of low and no alcohol products into the drinking habits of the UK population. There has been a noticeable increase in individuals who have reduced their alcohol intake due to these alternatives, rising to 23% in 2023 from 21% in 2022. This figure excludes those who were non-drinkers prior to trying low and no alcohol options.
In a broader context, over a third of respondents, at 35%, now identify as occasional or regular consumers of alcohol alternatives, a significant leap from 29% in the previous year. The Portman Group’s research suggests that moderation is driving this trend, with three-quarters of UK drinkers having sampled a low or no alcohol alternative. This is in contrast to a third of non-drinkers who have tried these products. The survey also sheds light on the reasons behind this shift. For six consecutive years, the primary motivations for choosing alcohol alternatives have been to avoid excessive drinking at social events and to ensure the ability to drive afterwards.