Mindful drinking. Sober curious. The 99% sober movement. These terms have now entered common parlance in the drinks trade. The No and Low wine market has matured at a remarkable pace. Dry January is only a decade old this year. Yet, it has become an integral part of western drinking culture, such is the effectiveness of its clear-headed message. According to Alcohol Change UK, almost 9 million drinkers are taking part this January, up on 2022 by 1 million.
While there are many who will be counting down the days to February 1st, studies show that growing numbers will choose not to limit their abstemiousness to January alone. Many of these are from younger generations, with 46% of Gen Z and 41% Millennials choosing to substitute alcoholic drinks with no and low alternatives (IWSR).
This makes No and Low a crucial category for any retailer, as customers seek out exciting options. We first dipped our toe into the no and low category in 2017. Since then, we’ve gone on to be one of the major players in the no and low wine sector. Following the addition of premium 0% Sparkling brand ALT., we have categorised our range of no and low options into Good/Better/Best. This includes offerings from well-known brands. This is important for customers who are just entering the no and low category, and now means we have something for everyone.
Belle & Co. has a legion of followers who swear by this vegan-friendly, low-sugar bubbly. There is no de-alcoholisation here. This refreshing sparkling is instead made by combining grape juice that undergoes a bacterial fermentation with premium green tea, which helps build texture and complexity.
Black Tower has been a household name in the UK for 50 years and counting. They’ve maintained their popularity with wine lovers by staying at the forefront of wine trends and styles. With one of Germany’s largest, state-of-art wineries Black Tower can produce high-quality, vacuum-distilled alcohol-free wines.
We also have an array of market-leading alcohol-free options from revered wine producers. Vallformosa has a youthful vibrance that belies its 150-year history. They manage to combine tradition and a thirst for innovation effortlessly. Their award-winning VFMS 0.0% is the perfect example. It is made from the classic Cava varietals, Macabeo, Xarel-lo & Parellada. And it is aged for 12 months in bottle before it hits the shelves.
De Bortoli is one of Australia’s first families of wine and they’ve built a reputation for pioneering spirit and unwavering quality over the past 90 years. The Very Cautious One range is their first foray in the No and Low market. Consisting of an aromatic Gewurztraminer x Riesling blend and smooth Shiraz, these harmonious alcohol-free wines are vacuum-distilled to enhance their aromatic quality.
La Gioiosa launched their 0.0% sparkling in 2020 and within a year it was named Mindful Drinking Winner at the People’s Choice Wine Awards. Made from 100% Glera, it undergoes a slightly different process with the grapes pressed softly and the juice kept at 0 degrees in temperature-controlled tanks before CO2 is gently added. The end result is a sparkling alternative with accents of apple, peach and pear fruit flavours with lovely floral notes. It is low-calorie, just 22kcal per 100ml, and vegan-friendly to boot.
ALT. are the new kids on the block, but they have considerable pedigree. Their founder has been Norway’s leading No and Low specialist importer for years. These award-winning, organic sparkling wines are turning heads and raising smiles. They combine traditional winemaking techniques with a delicate vacuum distillation to create uncompromising sparkling wines that deliver both the flavour and ritual of their alcoholic counterparts. The Organic Chardonnay (94 points IWSC) and Organic Rosé (98 points IWSC) are available in both 75cl and 20cl format.
To read more about the No and Low category and its importance in 2023, follow the link to find a comprehensive article in Drinks Retailing. (Pages 4-5 & 8-9).