Where to find non-alcoholic beers on supermarket shelves?
Club Soda member Jo, our self-confessed ‘Nanny State Warrior’, has been doing battle with Tesco about the positioning of non-alcoholic beer on shop shelves!
Nanny State and other alcohol-free beers seem to be intermingled amongst the mass-market beers with alcohol, and are often not easy to find – plus they put them on the very top shelf! Club Soda members have reported the same problem in other supermarkets, including at least Waitrose, Morrisons and Tesco. We have been using the hashtag #sobertease on Twitter about this issue.
We know that part of the reason for this invisibility of non-alcoholc drinks is that big brands pay for the prominent positions on the supermarket shelves, leaving beers like the 0% Nanny State from small producer BrewDog to occupy the harder to see and reach shelves. This would of course not be a problem at all, if the shops had a separate low and no-alochol section. Read how Jo got on with her correspondence with Tesco.
The difference between alcohol-free and low alcohol
Hello again Osman,
I fear you may feel I now have an obsession with Barkingside Tesco and Brew Dog’s Nanny State, but I was wondering what feedback you had from the store re the location of the product, which is still in the wrong place?
I spoke with two members of staff two weeks ago, one gentleman had a suit on therefore I presume he was a team leader or manager. They told me it wasn’t alcohol free (although it says so on the bottle) as it contains 0.5% alcohol. I can appreciate that most people wouldn’t understand the definition of alcohol content, but I explained that most fruit contains 0.5% alcohol naturally through fermentation.
He said the alcohol content was too high and that also they can not put single bottles out on display next to multipacks of alcohol free beers like Becks Blue (0.05%) either. I explained that there are single bottles of the alcohol free Koppaberg cider located next to the multipacks of Becks Blue so that doesn’t make sense.
Here is a link to an online shop that deals solely in alcohol free produce and shows the definition by volume, I hope you find it useful: http://www.alcoholfree.co.uk/what-meant-alcoholfree-a-5.html. As you can see they do not sell anything above 0.5% as it is then no longer alcohol free, but then low alcohol.
Maybe they should liaise with other local branches like Goodmayes, which have now increased the rows of Nanny State from one to two and now four as they are obviously selling well.
Plus the bottles are not only in the middle of the alcohol products, which is really not helpful for those people trying to quit drinking with the temptation all around them, but it’s also on the top shelf and I can’t reach it!
Still categorised as a beer…
Thank you for getting in touch with us again. I hope you are having a lovely weekend.
I am very sorry to hear about the concerns that you have regarding the location of the Brew Dog’s Nanny State.
As you can appreciate all of our stores are run and managed individually, and it would be to the management of each individual store, where they stock any products depending on where they find is most suitable for the product to be located. I can assure you that convenience for customers is a top factor when making decisions, but sometimes this may not always be the case due to limited shelf space and for certain products which are essentially age restricted.
Now I understand that it only has 0.5% alcohol, but as you can appreciate that it is still considered an alcohol and is categorised as a beer. Therefore I understand where the store team is coming from, in the decision they have made to locate it next to the rest of the beers, as when you scan the product it is still catergorised as a beer.
I will again get this fed back to the store management, so they can review the situation and see if they can locate it in a more accommodating location inside the store.
I am also very sorry that the product is stocked on the top shelf, which is not always convenient, but as you can understand that we do have limited shelf space in our stores and the store did their best to make room for this product. But if you ask a member of staff in the mean time they will be more than happy to get it for you.
Again I would like to extend my apologies, but I am grateful for feedback regarding this situation, as we rely on customer feedback, to identify areas where we can improve our services to enhance the customer experience.
Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
What we can all do
As you can see from the response from Tesco to Jo’s email, the shops are willing to engage. They might not be able to change things overnight, but the more people raise the issue of poor choice and visibility of low-alcohol and non-alcoholic beers and wines to our supermarkets, the quicker things will change for the better. So go ahead and talk to the shop managers, tweet or email them, or write them letters. Be rebellious like the Nanny State Warrior, and demand your rights as a customer just like everyone else!