Carlton & United Breweries has launched an alcohol-free version of its Great Northern brand, called Great Northern Zero.
The launch of Great Northern Zero coincides with the 10th anniversary of the debut of the beer, which is now the biggest selling beer brand in Australia.
Antonia Ciorciari, CUB’s head of contemporary brands, said: “Men and women are both seeking non-alcoholic beer with the strongest demand coming from those aged 25-45.
“Our fans are an outdoorsy lot who want the freedom to 4WD, boat, fish, kayak, hike or simply drive home from the pub and still enjoy a cold Great Northern with their mates.
“Now they can add a few Zeros to the fridge or cooler, along with Great Northern Super Crisp or Original, and then anyone who wants to have a beer at any occasion now can.
“Zero looks like a Great Northern and has the easy-drinking taste of a Great Northern, the only thing missing is the alcohol.”
CUB said the release of Great Northern Zero reflected the “booming demand amongst Queenslanders for alcohol-free beer options”.
“The non-alcoholic beer category has doubled in Australia in the past year and sales through bottle shops and other off premise sites have increased 30-fold when compared with the same period in 2017/18,” Ciorciari added.
Over the last 12 months alcohol free beer segment in Australia has grown by 191% and during the COVID-19 lockdown period from March to May 2020, alcohol-free beer sales grew by over 600% versus the same period last year according to IRI.
Great Northern Zero will initially be sold only in Queensland and the Northern Territory and stocked in supermarkets, cafes, bars, hotels and bottle shops throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Hopes to repeat Carlton Zero success
CUB released Carlton Zero in September 2018, the first non-alcoholic beer in CUB’s 180-year history and one of its most successful launches.
In its first year it sold more than 3.2 million litres in Australia, with the brand dominating non-alcoholic beer sales in bottle shops, driving up sales in the category by 14 times.
Chief executive Peter Filipovic told The Sydney Morning Herald 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.”