The beer industry is predicting this summer will see the biggest sales of non-alcoholic beer in Australian history.
BWS says sales of non-alcoholic beers at its outlets have risen 60% since July.
“We started talking to our suppliers about bringing products into the market for our customers because we knew our customers would want them. And the sales are doing what we expected them to do, it’s strong customer demand.
“I’ve been in stores myself and conducted tastings with customers and the surprise on their face when they try non-alcoholic beer and find out the flavour, it’s just quite incredible.
“You can see the realisation, that ‘this tastes as good as any other beer’.”
BWS currently stocks four beers with an ABV (alcohol by volume content) of 0.0% and five with an ABV of 0.5%. The chain told the SMH it also plans to increase its range of no and low-alcohol beers.
CUB has brewed about 3.5 million litres of Carlton Zero this year. Non-alcoholic, low-alcohol and mid-strength beers now make up about 25% of all CUB beer sales.
Market research by CUB has found the average age of Carlton Zero drinkers was between 25 and 34 and more than 40% of drinkers were women, which is a higher proportion than for alcoholic beers.
“It [Carlton Zero] is selling really well, we’ve been very, very happy with how it’s gone so far,” said CUB external relations manager Reid Sexton. “In its first 12 months it recorded more than $10 million in sales.
“And it’s been one of the most successful product launches we’ve ever had. It has been really well received by beer lovers because it’s a non-alcoholic beer that actually tastes like beer.”
Scott Harris, marketing manager brewing products at Coopers said the entire non-alcohol beer market in Australia is up about 50% over the past year.
Coopers has been importing a no-alcohol German beer called Holsten 0.0 for the past 10 years and Harris says its sales were up about 20% in 2019.
Australia follows global trend
Entrepreneur has declared: “2020 Will Be the Year of Non-Alcoholic Beer.”
According to Nielsen, the global non-alcoholic beer market is expected to reach $5.91 billion by 2023.
Anheuser-Busch InBev aims to generate one-fifth of its global sales from zero or low-alcohol beverages by 2026.
Heineken (now offering 50 alcohol-free labels), while Carlsberg, Asahi and Molson Coors are all highly active in the space.
“This year we intentionally took stock of our non-alcohol offerings within the Coors family of brands,” said Marty Maloney, manager of media relations at MillerCoors. “In the case of Coors Edge, we saw an opportunity to up our game in a booming space that isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.”
Brooklyn Brewery recently launched its first non-alcoholic option after it “found there is a fundamental shift in consumer drinking habits and consumer behavior,” Brooklyn Brewery president Robin Ottaway told Maxim. “Non-alcoholic beverages are no longer just for people who can’t or don’t want to drink alcohol, full stop.”
The brewery’s research found that 52% of beer drinkers are making a conscious effort to cut back their drinking, citing a desire for a “healthier lifestyle” as the reason for doing so.
“Especially within younger generations,” explained Ottaway, “Whether they’re thinking more about their health, or whether they don’t have the same preconceptions about non-alcoholic beverages that older generations had, drinkers want more beverage options.
“It used to be so black and white: you’re someone who drinks alcohol, or you aren’t.
“Now, people who like drinking alcohol are in situations where they want something more flavorful than water or seltzer but aren’t looking for a buzz at that moment.”