Carton & United Breweries has revealed that non-alcoholic, low and mid-strength beers such as Carlton Zero now account for around a quarter of all its sales – up from just 10% five years ago.
Since launching a year ago Carlton Zero has sold more than 3.2 million litres in Australia.
The brand is also dominating non-alcoholic beer sales in bottle shops, driving up sales in the category by 14 times.
Carlton Zero went on sale in September last year. It is the first non-alcoholic beer in CUB’s 180-year history and has been one of its most successful launches.
Its first birthday coincides with the Global Be(er) Responsible initiative, which is a worldwide effort by brewers, including CUB, to promote responsible consumption of beer.
CUB’s Chris Maxwell said: “We launched Carlton Zero because beer lovers told us they wanted more opportunities to enjoy beer responsibly.
“The popularity of Zero shows it’s becoming normal to consume nonalcoholic beer on many different occasions.
“Research shows the most common reason people drink non-alcoholic beer is because they’re the designated driver, and we’re seeing this predominately in people aged 18-34. We think this deserves a pat on the back, and really shows the moderation message is getting through.”
The CUB-commissioned national online survey of 1000 people this month also found no-alcohol beer is most popular with people aged 18-34, with almost half (49%) saying they would consider drinking a no-alcohol beer at a social occasion.
Carlton & United Breweries chief executive Peter Filipovic told The Sydney Morning Herald earlier this year that it was important for the brewer to evolve to meet the market.
“VB and Carlton Draught are still the cornerstones of our portfolio and very iconic brands within the Victorian and Australian landscapes,” he said.
“But tastes are changing. Consumers are wanting more. Moderation is a big trend … and we have got to adapt.”
Here’s the new social ad for Carlton Zero:
Carlton Zero takes on soft drink giants
Carlton & United Breweries launched a new advertising campaign in May aimed at getting adults to switch from soft drinks to Carlton Zero.
The new ad aired across the country during AFL and NRL broadcasts and showed two male office workers at lunch with one enjoying a Carlton Zero with a salad, while the other pours a can of cola.