Posted on May 15th, 2018 in Blog, News
Alcohol consumption is falling in much of the world, including Australia. While sales of traditional beers and wines may be dropping, other drink categories are powering ahead – one of the fastest-growing being non-alcoholic beverages.
Mocktails and alcohol-free beer, wine and spirits offer a sophisticated alternative to alcohol and soft drinks for people who don’t drink and people who just want to stay under the limit.
Who buys non-alcoholic drinks?
Worldwide, Middle Eastern countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have become major consumers of non-alcoholic beer over the past decade, where these drinks offer new taste and texture experiences for people who don’t drink alcohol for religious reasons. Japan is another prominent consumer, led by its aging population seeking healthier options.
There’s a large market for alcohol-free drinks in Australia that’s still not being tapped to its full potential. Just under a quarter of adults (22.9 percent) say they don’t drink alcohol, according to the latest AIHW National Drug Strategy Household Survey report, and these aren’t the only target customers.
Many people who drink alcohol in moderation, especially young adults, are also more likely to choose non-alcoholic drinks than previously, preferring to stay clear-headed and keep up with their drinking partners without going over the limit.
As good as the real thing?
Veteran beer drinkers may look down on “yellow fizzy water,” but the truth is that today’s non-alcoholic beers and wines taste just like their alcoholic siblings. That’s no surprise, considering they’re made in the same way using all the same ingredients, equipment and methods, just with the alcohol removed late in production.
But do they taste the same? Most drinkers say yes, thanks to refined dealcoholisation processes no longer compromising flavours like they used to. That’s the reason for these products’ success – people who appreciate the taste, aroma and texture can still enjoy their favourite drinks without needing to consume alcohol.
What are the options?
Non-alcoholic beer – Most of the big brands now offer alcohol-free options based on their classic beers. Lagers dominate the ranks, but growing demand for other beer styles is seeing ales and all manner of non-alcoholic craft beers becoming more widely available.
Non-alcoholic wine – Not all wines work equally well with the alcohol removed, but there’s still an excellent variety of red, white and sparkling options out there. These retain all the health benefits of wine, even retaining more antioxidants than regular wine which can actually make them more healthy.
Non-alcoholic spirits – This up-and-coming category is rapidly gaining popularity in Australia among cocktail lovers and fans of raw spirit. Non-alcoholic gin, flavoured whiskey, herbal liqueurs and premixed drinks such as gin and tonic are popular imports that the emerging craft spirit scene should take note of.
What other trends are shaping the industry?
Hear all about the latest consumer and market trends in Australia’s alcohol industry from leading experts at The Drinks Industry Show, the nation’s biggest trade-only event.
This post originally appeared on the Drinks Industry show.