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The Blue Dolphin Store‘s team visited the Low2NoBev, the best international non-alcoholic drinks (or very low alcoholic) fair in the world. It took place in London on the last weekend of September. The venue was the legendary Olympia, the convention, conference and exhibition centre in West Kensington that has been in operation since the 19th century.

The Fair hosts only low-ABV, which stands for “low alcohol by volume”, all those drinks that have either very low alcohol content or not a single drop whatsoever.

Pleasant surprises at the Low2NoBev non-alcoholic drinks trade show

We knew that non-alcoholic beverages –low-AWBs– are a new rising value, and not only in the production of 0.0 beers, but we were astonished in London, at the fair and at the huge acceptance of low-ABVs in restaurants, pubs and clubs in the British capital. Non-alcoholic beverages are a worldwide success, in the UK, 19% of the population is teetotal, that’s 10 million people.

Interestingly, we also learned that 41% of Brits choose to drink non/low alcoholic drinks because they are the designated driver that night when they go out in a group. But the main reason 18-34 year olds choose low-AWBs is to avoid hangovers (33%). The data is from a report produced by Luminia Market in 2019.

Professional meetings

It was a unique opportunity to meet again with customers and suppliers and to meet in person all those with whom we had exchanged emails but never met before: Noughty, Pierre Zero, Clausthaler and Lyre’s.

The atmosphere was festive, but it was still a trade fair. When you entered the workshop and conference area, you could see how important this sector is becoming in the 21st century. There we learned practical things, such as strategies for brand visibility and protection. Also the importance of using sustainable products, the growing interest of the new generations to enjoy alcohol-free leisure. We also learned about the taxation of soft drinks, which in many countries are still taxed at the same rate as alcoholic beverages. And how new technologies and artificial intelligence play an important role in the soft drinks industry.

We made new contacts, in order to bring new quality products, be it de-alcoholised wine, 0.0 beer, non-alcoholic distillates or in mixers. The latest cocktail trends point to a steady increase in demand for non-alcoholic cocktails of Mediterranean and Caribbean inspiration.

Traveling experience

It was a wonderful experience, which also took place in London at the best time of the year. It was held before the cold weather sets in, but far from the heatwave that hit the UK last summer. The next London edition takes place from 2 to 4 October 2023. We will be back, if nothing goes wrong. This has to be repeated. For as the poet Samuel Johnson once said, “He who is tired of London is tired of life; for in London there is all that life can afford”. Let us drink to that. without alcohol.

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