The UK’s first app, supported by 70 leading brands, is launched for the growing number of non-drinkers who enjoy socialising, pubs and bars.
In December 2020, the UK’s first app – better without, founded by entrepreneur Jonny Stevens – has been launched for those who enjoy a social life, bars and pubs but without the need to drink. Over 70 leading brands are in working in support of the App including names such as Heineken, Fever Tree, Brewdog, Adnams, Mockingbird Spirits, San Miguel, Salcombe Distillery, Double Dutch, and Thatchers.
In recent times, there have been some excellent non-alcoholic spirits, beers and drinks come onto the market to serve the growing community who classify themselves as “non-drinkers”.
Research has shown that non-drinking amongst the young has been steadily growing and yet there are few sources for this audience to access to help them understand their options. Hence the creation of “better without” by its founder, Jonny Stevens.
· In 2018, a study for BMC Public Health found that 25% of young people classed themselves as non-drinkers
· An UCL study found that non-drinkers amongst the young had increased from 15% in 2005 to 29% in 2015. (Source https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/10/young-people-drinking-alcohol-study-england)
· The above was supported by a 2018 NHS study who found that 29% of those aged 16-24 were non-drinkers
· In 2020, the Independent published a report by the Society of Independent Brewers (Siba) who noted that 23% of those aged 18 to 24 were non-drinkers; an increase they claim of 6% in 12 months. ( Source- https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/alcohol-teetotal-young-adults-drinking-beer-siba-a9393361.html)
· Furthermore, research by the Social Market Foundation found that the market for non or low alcoholic drinks grew by 48% in 2019, although admittedly from a low base. It is estimated to have a 10% market share by 2030.
The facts are that the approach towards alcohol is changing. This trend is not just within the UK but international and reflects the aspirations of the young. Research in Sweden, for example, shows a decline across all types of consumption, from the heaviest to the lightest drinkers.
There are many reasons for the change ranging from changing in parenting methods to economic factors, including a wider climate of constraint and austerity to young people becoming more aware of the health risks to a greater desire for well-being.
Each generation is becoming increasingly educated and aware so it arguably a natural trend which is only set to grow and the timing of the new app could not be better given many have changed their habits during the pandemic with a reported 40% drinking less. Interestingly the app was the result of the pandemic as the founder himself became more focused on well-being during the first lockdown. He had already been planning the app but the lockdown was the catalyst to fast forward his thoughts.
He had other reasons too as Jonny explained:
Jonny Stevens, founder and entrepreneur
“I wanted weekend hangovers and anxiety from drinking to be a thing of the past but found myself still wanting that ‘Friday night beer’ moment”, he explained. “I decided to switch to no alcohol beer but was finding it difficult to know where to buy it. With my experience working within the hospitality industry and my passion to help people discover alcohol-free choices, the idea of better without was born.”
“With so many great no and low alcohol drink options available, I wanted to make it easy for people to find them directly on their phone.
I also believe that the Hospitality Industry needs to do more to embrace this change and our aim is to promote both the industry and excellent products that the consumer can access. The producers have worked hard to engage this growing audience with some exciting new concepts. The options are available and the industry needs to increase their range. Why doesn’t every hospitality venue have a no or low alcoholic beer on draught?”
“I have a passion for driving change. Lifestyles and choices are changing the aim of the app is to support the changes taking place and also make educate consumers on their choices. There is so much growth in this area which I hope that better without will be at the forefront supporting”