Tesco is the latest supermarket to put its weight behind the emerging consumer trend for lower alcoholic products.

The retailer said its latest sales data showed an increasing number of British drinkers were turning away from strong wines and beers and opting instead for lower alcohol varieties.

"Strong wine and beer is not to everyone's liking and there is a significantly growing trend towards lighter tasting wine and beer," said beers, wines and spirits director Dan Jago.

Tesco's research shows that, in the last year, sales of its lower alcohol wines with a strength of between 9% and 11% abv have grown by 25%. Over the same time period, sales of its 3% to 4% abv beers grew 16%.

The retailer attributed this trend to the massive revival of rosé wines, which are naturally lower in alcohol. Jago said the rosé category had been the single biggest growth area for Tesco in the past year and it would continue to look closely at this sector. Tesco's support of lower alcohol products follows Sainsbury's commitment to the category, pledged earlier this year, as well as recent lower alcohol product launches.

Sainsbury's brought out a lower alcohol wine in the summer and it was also the first to stock the lower alcohol 9% abv Banrock Station variant in September.

"This is a market I am interested in because I think there are big opportunities," said senior wine buyer Julian Dyer. He said the retailer expected increased consumer interest to be directed at this sector in 2007.

The beer industry also responded to the trend for lower alcoholic products this year. Both Becks and Budweiser brought out 4% abv beers and Guinness has been trialling a 2.8% variant in Ireland. Carling launched its 2% abv C2, which it said almost had the same flavour and body of standard lager but with less alcohol.

"We believe Carling C2 will generate real category growth for retailers," said customer marketing director Tom Feinson.