No Alcohol Beer Brands are on the up in terms of sales
There was a time when it was frowned upon to even order no alcohol drinks’ or no alcohol beer. In fact, I still find it hard to get an alcohol free beer when I go out.
For me it’s a health issue so I have a zero alcohol lifestyle however for some people they just want a better lifestyle. You can of course hopefully do both going alcohol free.
Drinking less can have immediate effects including
- Reducing Anxiety
- Saving your money
- Helping your health
- Lowering your blood pressure
- Help you avoid the morning hangover
- Avoiding the awful morning shakes
- Behaviour tends to change under the influence so the impact can be devastating.
So it seems people are now accepting low alcohol drink as a “trendy option” but also of course the brewers know this and are prepared to make a profit out of it. To be fair as long as they don’t take the mick on price it’s probably a good thing!
Here’s a quick fact check on what’s happening:
- The big boys in terms of the drinks market are saying that their sales are going higher and there is no doubt the figures are impressive. The market is in its early days and hitting the 20 plus growth increase mark. Yep the alcohol-free beer sales drinks’ sector continues to grow.
- Two brands to note which I have tried are Heineken and Carlsberg as they both are now producing alcohol free versions of their original brand. This is great and clear as the labels are obvious and people can link them to the original brand and in some sense it can be easier to ask for.
- Stella alcohol free 0.0 is well worth a try and you can find my review for that here.
- Guinness have also launched an alcohol free option at 0.0% which has been four year in the making. The owners seem to be driving the market with this one. Guinness has an amazing history which I am sure they will monopolize on. I have some interesting facts about it here.
- The headlines of journalists who still don’t get it still write about it as an alien subject. This was a recent headline in the London Standard
- “Guinness 0.0 taste test: Served blind, I’m not sure I’d know the difference. What’s the point of the black stuff if it doesn’t have any booze? David Ellis downs a pint to find out”
- I think his intentions were good as it was a good review but why the headline when there is a point, in my case it could kill me! Do these headlines miss a point or reflect a wider mood? It could be either!
- There is still a frustration that although online sales are more available it’s still a challenge in pubs, bars and restaurants. Although I notice a lot of restaurants are starting to offer alcohol free gin such as seedlip which I personally love although it is not cheap. It also funny watching people serve it as awareness is slightly lacking in some places!
- Let’s go to Denmark which has a good reputation for quality alcoholic beer and its now coming into its own with non-alcoholic drinks’ as we change our habits .
- So Carlsberg recently went public with a 29% rise in sales across its alcohol-free portfolio for 3 months leading up to September 2020. That by any standards is impressive
Is growth coming from anywhere specific?
Yes the UK and Australia are going up in volumes sold where Heineken recently launched its first alcohol free bar operated by robots. However, France, Russia, Ukraine and Poland are also up on the list as is the USA and Mexico which to be fair I get a lot of positive comments about on the blog.
I have also had recent comments about availability in Brazil.
In the UK Paul Lindenberg the big boss of Budweiser said: “In the third quarter, our UK business grew in value and volume [Nielsen], supported by the continued strength of our brands in the off-trade channel and the gradual re-opening of the on-trade channel.
“Our iconic brands, including Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, performed strongly, showcasing the strength of our brand portfolio. In recent months, our penetration grew 40%, representing almost an additional two million households entering the category and choosing our portfolio of brands to enjoy in new occasions. We are confident this will lead to continued growth”.
“Stella Artois and Budweiser remained the number one and two most valuable beer brands in the Off-Trade, while Corona grew at nearly three times the rate of the total category, maintaining its position as the most valuable World Beer brand in the off-trade”.
“Our two new alcohol-free launches, Stella Artois Alcohol-Free and Budweiser Zero, have continued their strong momentum, growing by double digits versus the previous period. And as the hospitality sector re-opened, Stella Artois was the best performing brand in the on-trade, in terms of like-for-like sales.”
I included the quote because I think it shows how seriously they are taking the growth in brands which is good news is consumer. They do care and why would they not its good for customers and the bottom line.
What’s driving the change?
There is definitely a younger generation who are driving the change. However, the reason may be stated as health but it is really about image.
The issues among younger people include :
- Thinking about their CV
- Looking bad on social media
- Saving money to get a mortgage
- Thinking about health.
Heineken recently did a study of people in their twenties in the USA and found that 52% people that responded had increased their level of drinking in terms of no alcohol beer brands.
They also highlighted the need to have a good life work balance, healthy food plus exercise.
They also said which I found really interesting that it was very useful to have alcohol free options when going on their first date. No doubt to stop any embarrassment.
Although there is a TV show in the UK called Dinner Dates ( yes I watch it ) where there was a range of disappointment when the blind date did not drink. We are all different I guess but there is definitely a trend here.
I also know though this blog that alcohol and the liver is getting talked about more and more as I know to my detriment.
What is interesting is that a university study from Bristol UK showed that given more options in the no alcohol beer brand range people are more likely to take them.
This is no doubt driving the change is choice and taste which is good. Other factors include:
- Blood pressure and obesity
- Taste is clearly an issue as the choice available is now massive compared to what it was.
- Branding especially the use of 0.0 and the standard “color blue” which is making it easier to stand out. ( Not all brands have adopted this approach)
So its good news!
The word of caution is that with more and more brands no alcohol beers are going up in price. They range in a bar from £2.50 to £7.50.
It would be great for them to understand that giving up alcohol other than health is to save money and if you take that away the market may falter.
I hope not! The range of pricing is quite astonishing!
I would love to know your thoughts on no alcohol beer. Have you tasted some really good ones and do you think the industry is putting your needs first as a consumer, please do share. Just leave them below and I always respond.
Here’s to no alcohol beer brands becoming more popular, more available and not just at home.