WHO, april 2023
There is an expanding market of no- and low-alcohol beverages (NoLos). However, their effects on global ethanol consumption and public health are still questioned. Policies and regulations about NoLos’ availability, acceptability and affordability are lacking and evidence about their benefits is limited. Concerns have been raised about the impact of NoLos in reducing alcohol consumption and its associated harm and the possible drawbacks and implications, such as misleading minors, pregnant women, abstainers or those seeking to stop drinking about their actual ethanol content.
Further, there are concerns about the implications of NoLo branded products being displayed close to the brand’s main alcoholic beverages and their potential to subtly lead to new occasions of drinking. There is a need to monitor their consumption and impact on aggregated alcohol consumption to understand the public health implications of NoLos. The alcohol by volume content of NoLos must be defined, harmonised and clearly labelled. NoLo marketing needs to be regulated to protect children, pregnant women and those seeking to stop drinking. Fiscal and pricing policies to reduce the affordability of products with higher strengths of ethanol may favour a shift towards lower alcohol strength beverages.