Just when you thought I couldn’t find another Britain-based beer story to cover, here it is. According to the Daily Mail, the British public purchased more than 18.2 million liters (4.8 million gallons) of low-alcohol or no-alcohol beer in the previous 12 months. This 17% raise in sales for these market segments comes at a time when “high alcohol beers” (with an ABV of 7.5% or more) saw an 11% decline.
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The article attributes the increased taste for reduced or zero alcohol content beers to the public awareness campaigns lead by the government and some beer brands to be conscious of alcohol consumption. Alcohol-free beers such as Brewdog’s Nanny State ale and Heineken’s 0.0 have seen tremendous sales in recent times. Recent figures, of an unreported source, suggest that as many one in five British adults is a teetotaler (do not consume alcohol).
Global Non and Low-Alcohol Beer Sales
It would appear that the trend transcends the British market, with slow but steady sales growth in several regions. A 2016 article posted by beveragedaily.com reports that no-alcohol and low-alcohol beers account for just 0.6% and 2.2% of the global beer market, respectively.
Typical target audiences for non-alcoholic products include pregnant and nursing women, designated drivers and those who cannot consume alcohol for religious reasons. However, there is a stigma attached to many of these beers, as they may be seen as “distress purchases”. Kevin Baker, a senior consultant with Globaldata Plc (previously Canadean), argues that many people in these target populations may be inclined to “leapfrog” non-alcoholic beers and simply opt for sodas.
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Low alcohol beer has its own share of woes. It sits in a somewhat reverse-goldilocks situation where it contains too much alcohol for those trying to abstain entirely, but too little alcohol for those seeking the typical effects of beer.
Lifestyles and Beer
It’s no secret that there is a growing trend of increased scrutiny being placed on foods and beverages in the market place. Whether its the non-GMO movement, or the rapid rise of the craft-beer market, many consumers are moving away from mass-produced “soulless” products. The heightened awareness of what consumers put in their bodies could also be playing a significant part in the rise of low and non-alcoholic beers.
In the UK, a company named lightdrinks.co.uk sells a wide range of low alcohol, no alcohol and low calorie beers. Product listings highlight the low caloric content of the offered beverages. With many studies tying excess calorie and alcohol consumption to a bevy of health complications, it stands to reason that the more health conscious of us may turn to these market segments in higher numbers.
What’s Your Take?
How do you feel about low and non-alcohol beers? Have you tried any and, if so, where they any good? Would you ever consider trying these beers? Comment below and let me know.
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