Alcohol moderation still increasing, research finds

The new report from KAM and Lucky Saint looks at evolving drinking habits across the UK.

A quarter of UK drinkers are alternating between alcoholic and alcohol-free drinks when they visit pubs and bars, according to a new industry report.

Findings show that a significant number of people are incorporating alcohol-free drinks into occasions they are also drinking alcohol.

The new report, ‘2024 Low and No: Drinking Differently’, produced by research consultancy KAM and Lucky Saint, looks at evolving drinking habits across the UK.

It goes on to say that a quarter of the UK population are moderating their alcohol consumption through the practice of ‘zebra striping’, when an individual alternates between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks within a single visit. 

When you include situations where an individual is combining alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks while not necessarily zebra striping, this figure rises to two in three UK adults (78% of 18- to 24-year-olds).

Modern moderation

Moderation of alcohol is now a year-round habit for UK adults, the report finds. Three out of four UK adults who drink alcohol have said they are currently actively moderating their consumption of alcohol across 2024. 

A notable decline in the number of UK adults consuming alcohol more than once a month has been reported, with the figure dropping to 88% in 2024, down from 93% in 2023 (95% in 2022). This coincides with 11m UK adults (16% of UK adults) trying low- and no-alcohol beer for the first time in the last 12 months.

According to KAM Insights, more than one in five of 18-24s claim to not drink alcohol, the highest of any age group. The report also found that 53% of 18- to 24-year-olds report visiting a pub or bar once a week or more. 

"Increasing numbers of UK adults are actively moderating their alcohol consumption, whether driven by a desire to improve their physical or mental wellness or to save money," says Katy Moses, MD at KAM. "Active moderation (where people are actively changing their behaviour in order to consume less alcohol) is happening across all age groups and all days of the week – one in four UK adults say they employ tactics to moderate their alcohol consumption to some extent."

You may also be interested in…