Drinks Ireland has responded to research from the Institute of Social Marketing and Health at the University of Stirling and claims about the marketing of non-alcoholic drinks.
"Important Not To Conflate Alcoholic And Non-Alcoholic Products"
Cormac Healy, director of Drinks Ireland, said, "It's important not to conflate alcoholic and non-alcoholic products which are distinct consumer offerings. Zero alcohol products have a clear role to play in supporting moderation, and so the growth of this category is something we should all be encouraging, not discouraging. They enable people to make positive choices, and consumers have the right to be informed about these choices.
"There is clear demand for these products from adult consumers, and the public is already ahead on this issue when it comes to what they're drinking and how they’re drinking. Non-alcohol beer's share of the market in Ireland has grown by 275% from 0.4% in 2017 to 1.5% in 2021, and this growth is expected to continue.
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"This comes as alcohol consumption continues to slow, down by a third in 20 years according to Revenue data. Additional research also shows that consumers, particularly young Irish adults, are seeking more moderation, product choice and balance in how they drink and socialise.
"We would strongly contest accusations of so-called alibi marketing, as 0.0 marketing is distinct from the marketing of the alcoholic parent brands, and is regulated by ASAI specific guidelines, which the industry abides by. These rules mean 0.0 products are never advertised or promoted to underage audiences."
"Some Of The Strictest Rules And Legislation In The World"
Healy added, "Ireland also has some of the strictest rules and legislation in the world for the marketing of alcoholic products, and the industry has a very high compliance rate. Certain organisations continue to push for further disproportionate legislation despite these realities."
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