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What is an 'alcohol-free' drink? considers drinks 0.5% and below to be alcohol-free.
No alcohol license is needed to sell them in the UK, and 0.5% means a very small amount of alcohol only. The truth is that anything that goes through a natural fermentation process has a trace of alcohol, and many foods and drinks do like: vinegar, overripe bananas, other fruit, bread, juices, and even lemonade.

Labelling legislation is inconsistent, it can be very confusing! Some products have to state their alcohol content (the “ABV”), while others don’t. Some drinks can be called “alcohol-free”, while very similar drinks can’t.

You can buy a soft drink (alcohol-free ginger beer for example and some kombutchas) that are up 0.5%, but don’t need to say so as they are in the ‘soft drink’ category. Sprite is 0.05%. Desserts and food stuffs don’t need an abv even though many will contain over 0.5% alcohol.

A 0.5% beer from elsewhere in the world can be called alcohol-free in the UK (if it is deemed so in their home country), but a 0.5% beer produced in the UK cannot!

The bottom line is you would have to drink huge amounts of these drinks to feel the effects of the alcohol, like 10 bottles of 0.5% beer to get to one unit!

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