BRITS BLED DRY Hard-up booz­ers avoid the pub to save dosh

Daily Star Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - ■ by JOE HINTON sun­day@dai­lystar.co.uk

SKINT Brits are cut­ting back on booze to save cash.

As many as one third (32%) of the public have re­duced or lim­ited their al­co­hol in­take over the past year.

And half of the na­tion’s beer, wine and cider drinkers say they are con­sum­ing less al­co­hol than a few years ago.

The re­search, by Min­tel, con­firmed drinkers are be­ing en­cour­aged to cut back be­cause of “eco­nomic fac­tors”.

The study found 44% have re­duced their in­take to save cash, while 41% have done it to avoid gain­ing weight.

Richard Caines, se­nior food and drink an­a­lyst at Min­tel, said: “Con­sumers have been cut­ting back on the amount of al­co­hol they drink for fi­nan­cial and health rea­sons. This presents a big op­por­tu­nity for low-al­co­hol and non-al­co­holic beers, ciders and wines. Neg­a­tive taste per­cep­tions, low prod­uct vis­i­bil­ity and lim­ited pro­mo­tional sup­port are still hold­ing the mar­ket back from re­al­is­ing its full po­ten­tial.”

The re­search showed 14% of all those who have cut back on booze have done it be­cause they are wor­ried about be­com­ing de­pen­dent on al­co­hol.

The same pro­por­tion cut back to stay within cur­rent drink­ing guide­lines.

Drinkers most likely to have cut back are those aged 25-34 (35%) and 35-44 (36%). The pro­por­tion of ab­stain­ers peaks at 41% in the North East and dips to 27% in the South East and East Anglia.

To­day, one fifth (19%) of adults re­port they do not drink al­co­hol at all, with a slightly higher pro­por­tion of women (22%) than men (17%) be­ing tee­to­tal. A per­cent­age of Brits are also choos­ing to cut back on their al­co­hol in­take by opt­ing for low-al­co­hol al­ter­na­tives.

A quar­ter (23%) of drinkers con­sumed low-al­co­hol beer, cider or wine while, over­all, just 14% drink non-al­co­holic or al­co­hol-free prod­ucts.

Us­age of lower-al­co­hol drinks is higher among men (26%) and sig­nif­i­cantly above av­er­age for 18 to 34-year-olds (41%).

In­dus­try an­a­lyst Rosie Daven­port added: “There is a def­i­nite trend to­wards peo­ple drink­ing less, but drink­ing bet­ter qual­ity prod­ucts.

“The boom in prod­ucts like craft beers shows con­sumers want to try more in­ter­est­ing drinks and are of­ten pre­pared to spend more for the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“How­ever, some drinkers are find­ing they sim­ply can’t af­ford their usual tip­ple and are cut­ting back for fi­nan­cial as well as health rea­sons.”

SMALL BEER: Josh shows off his model to the bar’s man­ager Rob Hughes

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