Club Soda announces exciting partnership with Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I to create the UK’s first digital programme around mindful drinking

Mindful Drinkers in hospitality invited to take part in a storytelling workshop to help shape the features of the new tool.

Club Soda, the Mindful Drinking Movement™, is working alongside leading brewer Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I to develop a new digital behaviour change tool for those working in food and drink. The online tool is designed specifically for those working in the hospitality sector who want to change their drinking habits, whether cutting down or going alcohol-free.  

Club Soda was keen to partner with Budweiser Brewery Group UK&I on this project, as they recognised the brewer’s commitment to foster a smart drinking culture in the UK, aligned with their own mission to create a world where nobody feels out of place if they are not drinking alcohol.

The tool will be the UK’s first behavioural science-based online tool for mindful drinking and draws on successful tools in other areas of preventive and self-guided health, such as diet and mental health, as well as input from Club Soda’s 30,000 members, and the knowledge gained over four years of working online with people looking to change their drinking habits. With financial backing from Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I and research funding from the Wellcome Trust, in collaboration with Big Society Capital, Bethnal Green Ventures and Zinc, a pilot of the programme will be launched later in 2019, targeted at people working in the hospitality sector.

According to official data, the two occupations with the highest rates of harmful drinking are bar staff and publicans and managers of licensed premises. Furthermore, Club Soda members who work in the hospitality sector have said that having the confidence to change their drinking habits can often be challenging. There are also few options for the industry to signpost people to, and that are available to suit the sometimes irregular hours.

The programme will be designed to support people who want to change their drinking, by providing content, including daily articles with weekly missions and booster packs, and support such as goal setting, tracking and coaching, and by enabling participants to develop the skills and confidence to adopt a more mindful approach to drinking. The aim of the programme is that it will be used alongside other digital health tools employed by individuals themselves, like health and fitness tracking apps and via employers’ existing wellness programmes.

Club Soda co-founder, Laura Willoughby MBE said:

“A growing number of Club Soda members work in the hospitality industry and find their drinking can creep up over time. And their working environment can make it more difficult when wanting to drink more mindfully. People want to stay in the career they love, but also stay healthy and happy. We want to give the hospitality sector a solution that is tailor-made for the industry, and that everyone can signpost staff to with confidence.”

Andrew Whiting, Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I said:

“This joint project with Club Soda supports our ambition to foster a smart drinking culture in the UK, as well as our focus on changing social norms around harmful drinking. We are excited about the opportunities this presents for our customers in the hospitality sector as a way to encourage mindful drinking habits among their staff.”

Club Soda has also received a grant from The Wellcome Trust to carry out face-to-face research with hospitality industry participants, including through a storytelling workshop, which is taking place in central London on 16th April. Anyone working in the food and drink sector who is interested in taking part in the workshop can register here: https://clubsoda.me/MindfulDrinkingWorkshop

Want to know more? For interviews with Club Soda co-founder Laura Willoughby MBE, please contact jo@joinclubsoda.co.uk or call 07946 454244. For interviews with Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, please contact Louise Fernley Louise.Fernley@ab-inbev.com or call 07961 406684.

Good to know

  1. We know that there are already a large number of people in the sector who want to change something about their drinking, but there is a lack of services and support. Drinkaware (an industry funded charity in the UK) data shows that 1 in 5 adults want to change their drinking habits. If this was applied to hospitality workers in the UK that would mean 1.2m people working in the sector would want to make some sort of change (this may be a conservative estimate as we know that people working in hospitality are drinking more than the general public). Even if we could just reach 2% of the workforce who know they already want to change something then we would make a massive impact on the wellbeing of individuals working in the UK hospitality sector, and support retention of staff.
  2. The Club Soda Guide scores over 2,000 venues for how good they are for mindful drinkers, and has details of where to find over 750 low and no alcohol drinks – it is free for venues to join at https://www.clubsodaguide.com/
  3. Imagery is available for use for free here https://www.flickr.com/photos/clubsodaguide/albums
  4. What is Mindful Drinking? You could be on a diet, cutting down on booze, or just not drinking tonight, but still want to have something nice to pair with your meal. Being mindful about your drinking is all about deciding what is right for you today. You are in control.
  5. Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I has funded this work as part of their commitment to promoting a smart drinking culture in the UK.
  6. This project is made possible [in part] by the Wellcome Trust, in collaboration with Big Society Capital, Bethnal Green Ventures and Zinc, as part of a programme to explore how to better bring together research and early stage ventures tackling mental health.

About Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I

Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I is the trading name of AB InBev UK Limited, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, a publicly traded company (Euronext: ABI) based in Leuven, Belgium, with secondary listings on the Mexico (MEXBOL: ABI) and South Africa (JSE: ANB) stock exchanges and with American Depositary Receipts on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUD). Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I remains a proud part of AB InBev globally. In the UK, Budweiser Brewing Group employs 1,000 people in our three breweries in Magor, South Wales, Samlesbury, Lancashire and Enfield, North London and in our local headquarters in Central London.  

We are committed to building great brands that stand the test of time and to brewing the best beers using the finest natural ingredients. We are proud to offer the UK’s leading premium beer and cider brands, including global brands Budweiser®, Corona® and Stella Artois®; international brands Bud Light®, Michelob Ultra®, Beck’s®, Leffe®, and Hoegaarden®; and local champions Bass® and Boddingtons®.

We are here to champion Britain’s iconic beer culture, from barley farmers to pubs and retail; we are a founding member of the Portman Group, member of the British Beer and Pub Association and supporter of the Drinkaware Trust. We are also members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Renewable and Sustainability Energy and the All-Party Parliamentary Corporate Responsibility Group. Our Dream is to bring people together for a better world. Learn more at www.budweiserbrewinggroup.co.uk or on Twitter through @BudBrewingUKI

For more information about Anheuser-Busch InBev, please visit www.ab-inbev.com.

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