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    Moderation driving sales of alcohol-free beer, says Lucky Saint founder

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    Lucky Saint is not reliant on teetotalers for its sales, the founder of UK’s largest dedicated alcohol- free beer brand ha said.

    Luke Boase, who founded Lucky Saint in 2018, stated that the London-based group is instead benefiting from a broader trend of consumers adopting healthier diets in which they drink traditional beer as well as low-alcohol or alcohol-free versions,.

    “There is definitely a big sober movement but moderation is still a much bigger driver of the category,” said Boase, adding that more than 80 per cent of people buying low- or no-alcohol drinks also enjoy standard beer.

    “You’ve got consumers moderating across all categories, whether that’s meat consumption, alcohol or sugar,” said Boase. 

    Lucky Saints ranks as the fourth most-popular brand in the category in the UK, trailing Heineken, which dominates with its Heineken 0.0, and Asahi, whose Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0 was launched last year and is now the second-biggest, according to Nielsen consumer data.

    In the UK, the market of low and no alcohol beer is worth an estimated £255 million and is expected to grow at an annual compound rate of 8 per cent until 2027, according to drinks analytics group IWSR.

    Boase insisted that the presence of the biggest brewers in the market was ultimately a benefit, saying that “visibility and awareness of the category is growing . . . it’s massively helped by the big brands”. The company has launched an advertising campaign to encourage people to pubs during January — a typically slow period for the hospitality industry and exacerbated by the rise of “dry January” — by offering free pints of Lucky Saint.

    Last year, Lucky Saint secured £10m in a funding round.

    Boase said he had not given much thought to the possibility of selling Lucky Saint to one of the big brewers, which in recent years have snapped up smaller craft brewers.

    “I strongly believe that in order to do justice to the opportunity that we’ve got, and build the best brand that we possibly can, that requires not thinking of building a business to exit,” FT quoted Boase as saying.

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