‘Buzz Free’ Beers Go Global

beer, ‘Buzz Free’ Beers Go Global

We’ve long contended that most people wouldn’t drink beer if it didn’t deliver a buzz…But it appears that we might have been wrong…

Alcohol-free beers are fast becoming one of the bright spots in the troubled beer sector… Last year was one of Heineken’ best in a decades. And one of the year’s key drivers was its alcohol-free Heineken 0.0, which launched in the summer of 2017, and is now growing at “a double-digit clip,” according to Axios.

And while buzz-free beers make up only 5% of beer volume sold worldwide, the category has grown at 3.9% on average for the past 5 years compared with 0.2% for traditional beer.

beer, ‘Buzz Free’ Beers Go GlobalIn fact a recent  report from GlobalData, an analytics and media company, finds that non-alcoholic beer is the fastest growing segment of the beer market, just ahead of strong beer (read: beer with alcohol in it).

We’ve been dismissive of reports that the world was sobering up…. But maybe we shouldn’t have been…

In an effort to accommodate the growing number of youthful Australian consumers who are adopting a more sober and healthful lifestyle, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV has “started offering Australians a lower-alcohol version of Corona, the country’s best-selling foreign beer,” as well as a weaker version of Stella Artois.

And while these beers still contain some alcohol, the brewer’s actions in Australia reflect the rise of consumers around the world looking for less or even no buzz in their beers…

At the end of 2017 Guinness introduced Pure Brew to Ireland a “full flavored, non-alcoholic lager” where the buzz was all about not having a buzz. Again, this is in Ireland.

Peroni (now owned by Asahi) recently announced it’s first ever foray into non-alcoholic beer and will soon be introducing its new Peroni Libera 0.0%  in the UK.

beer, ‘Buzz Free’ Beers Go GlobalAB InBev-owned Leffe is now offering zero alcohol version of its Abby Ale in Belgium. And while some purists might consider Leffe’s new buzz-less ale a sacrilege, a recent survey has found that 62 percent of the Belgians they surveyed felt that they drank too much.

And the sober drinking movement appears to only be accelerating…

Sales of non-alcoholic brews rose by close to £8 million in UK supermarkets over the winter holidays according to the latest market report from analyst Kantar Worldpanel.

Consumption of non-alcoholic beer in Germany increased 43%, according to Euromonitor International. In China, about 30% of the new beers launched in 2016 were non-alcoholic, according to market research firm Mintel.

The sober reality of 2019 is that the world is increasingly embracing sobriety…And it’s clear that brewers (both big and small) are looking to cash in on those that do.

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