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19 & 20 OCT 2022


Low and no alcohol beers, wines and spirits: and the rise of CBD in this growing market.

As an increasing number of consumers seek alternatives to alcohol year-round, brands are simultaneously seeking to capitalise on this behaviour shift by creating products that not only tap into this ‘no or low’ trend, but also have a functional and beneficial twist. A notable trend here has been the rise of CBD soft drinks, entering the mainstream.

Low and no ABV beverage brands now make up 1.3% of the overall beverage market- compared to 0.5% in the US showing this is a growing trend in the UK which is unlikely to slow down.

With Dry January in full swing it is important to note that low and no beverage products are spanning from alcohol free spirits and beer, ciders, kombucha’s and CBD infused drinks, which health conscience adults are moving towards, with a desire to choose a sophisticated drinks option which still deliver on taste, and where possible has added health benefits.

Recent studies show that between 8-11% of UK adults - around four to six million people - have tried CBD[1] and the younger generation is driving the interest in this market. They are also one of the main age-groups to cut down their alcohol consumption drastically in comparison to other age groups and should be considered a key demographic to target.

In November 2019, POLLEN launched in the UK with a low sugar, Cannabidiol (CBD) botanical soft drink, flavoured with the natural juices of grapefruit, lemon, raspberry and containing 15mg per can of water-soluble CBD derived from broad spectrum hemp oil.

For POLLEN founder, Melanie Goldsmith, the launch of Pollenade was about offering a sophisticated beverage option to consumers who are looking for a something more than a traditional soft drink when choosing not to drink alcohol. 

“There are a growing number of grown-up, non-alcoholic soft drinks coming to the market,” says Goldsmith. “Yet we felt there was still room in the CBD market to create a drink which had a more complex and intriguing flavour. We’ve been researching the CBD beverage market for some time and found that many CBD drinks compromise flavour, often leading with a slight earthy and unpleasant aftertaste. Something that needs to be tackled within the industry- but we are seeing encouraging movement in this space and a whole raft of brands entering this space, within drinks now as well as edibles and topicals.”

“We know the younger generation is drastically cutting down their alcohol consumption, and this is seen as aspirational behaviour encouraged by their peers,” Goldsmith continued. “But that doesn’t mean they aren’t going out and having fun, far from it. It just means they are drinking more responsibly, which is great to see. Perhaps that is why they are drawn to the CBD market – we’re offering alternatives to soft drinks that can help them feel their own kind of good”

The CBD drinks market is beginning to gather pace as we start to see CBD now being sold across grocery, retailers and coffee shops across the UK and looks set to be worth £1billion per annum by 2025 as one of the largest growing wellness markets in the UK, so it’s a market to watch this year to see the growth of this with health conscious consumers.