More than a fifth of young shoppers are likely to choose alcohol-free beer in January, according to new research.

After conducting online interviews with 2,003 adults this month, Opinium found that one in 10 women (10%) and nearly a quarter (22%) of Londoners were inclined to consume alcohol-free beer - more than in any other UK city - on a weekly basis.

The research shows that nearly a third of Brits (32%) have now tried alcohol-free beer, with millennials – those aged 18 to 34 – the most inclined to drink it over Christmas and New Year (31%).

This is in line with a growing trend among millennials who are increasingly motivated by balanced and healthy lifestyles, with 41% of those aged 18 to 19 actively trying to moderate their drinking habits, according to Kantar Worldpanel Alcovision.

The survey showed more than a fifth of millennials (21%) were likely to choose alcohol-free beer in January, an increase of 10% on 2014.

These findings coincide with the launch of AB InBev’s new set of Global Smart Drinking Goals that aim to empower consumers to make smart drinking choices and reduce the harmful use of alcohol by the end of 2025. The beer company has committed to ensuring that at least 20% of its global beer volume will be alcohol-free or lower-alcohol by 2020.

AB InBev UK & Ireland legal and corporate affairs director Anna Tolley said: “It’s great to see the growing popularity of alcohol-free beer among the UK public – especially millennials. Offering consumers choice is an important part of our commitment to responsible drinking and we are proud to brew Beck’s Blue, the market leading alcohol-free beer.”

Further findings from the research include:

  • Almost a fifth of consumers (19%) are unable to taste the difference between alcohol and alcohol-free beer.
  • Daytime occasions and weekday evenings are key occasions for alcohol-free beer consumption, with almost a quarter (23%) of Brits happy to take it to a festive gathering.
  • A quarter (25%) of consumers are forgoing festive parties this year.
  • For those who are celebrating, the most common reason to choose alcohol-free beer is being the designated driver (29%), or not wanting to drink too much and feel unwell the next day (20%).