Catering for Dry January – and Damp January

Getting a taste for low/no-alcohol wine

Hardys Zero is said to have a good flavour thanks to its de-alcoholising method.
Hardys Zero is said to have a good flavour thanks to its de-alcoholising method.

Accolade Wines turns to cutting-edge technology

NEGATIVE perceptions about quality and taste have been a barrier to consumers opting for low/no-alcohol wines.

Only 25% of wine drinkers say that alcohol-free variants taste just as good as standard offerings, according to Accolade Wines.

So it would appear that improving the taste of low/no drinks, refining the quality, appealing in new occasions and broadening awareness and availability could be the answer to drive growth in the sub-category.

With this in mind, Accolade Wines has launched Hardys Zero, which is available in three classic choices – Shiraz, Chardonnay and Sparkling.

The wine maker says the zero-alcohol wine uses cutting-edge de-alcoholising technology that retains the brand’s well-loved taste credentials.

Tom Smith, marketing director for Europe at Accolade Wines said: “With 41% of consumers, according to Mintel, suggesting that low/no options don’t always deliver the complex flavours and taste profile of their traditional favourites, Hardys Zero sought solutions that focused on taste as a core priority.

“As a result of a gentler alcohol removal process, Hardys Zero retains more a the familiar aroma, body and flavour of full-strength wine, with fewer additives versus conventional de-alcoholising technology.

“Hardys Zero is perfect for everyday social occasions where consumers still want the taste they love but demand a zero-alcohol option.”

Damp January is an emerging trend

Andrew Niven, of The Knowledge Bank.
Andrew Niven, of The Knowledge Bank.

INSIGHTS experts from The Knowledge Bank have highlighted an emerging trend dubbed “Damp January”.

This encourages people to reduce their alcohol intake without being entirely teetotal.

Mintel research shows consumers’ reduction in drinking has a range of motivational factors such as a desire to improve their health, save money and manage their weight.

But Andrew Niven, strategic insight manager at The Knowledge Bank, said: “Scotland acts as the exception to this rule, as it sees the Christmas peak extend into January.

“This is likely due to the celebration of Burns Night. Beverages such as whisky see a spike in sales at this time of year.”

Against this, he cited an Alcohol Change UK report that said  17% of UK adults planned to abstain from alcohol in January 2023, while 30% planned to participate in “Damp January”.

Niven added: “Damp January is not only advantageous to consumers but to producers. It provides a new sales avenue amidst the shift in alcohol consumption.”