Sales of low and non-alcoholic beer increased by 60% In Ireland between 2017 and 2018.
Since 2001, the average per adult alcohol consumption has fallen by 23.2% in Ireland according to a recently published report by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
Quality Over Quantity
When people do drink, there is an increasing trend towards choosing quality over quantity, said the Irish Brewers Association (IBA) in a statement.
“The key thing for brewers is maintaining the excellent taste that consumers are used to with quality beer products on the market," said Jonathan McDade from the Irish Brewers Association (IBA).
"We have seen this in the Irish market, with Diageo introducing Pure Brew and Heineken introducing Heineken 0.0 and Heineken Light, all of which consumers have responded positively to.”
McDaid added that low and non-alcoholic beer alternatives have proven useful to consumers 'who may be up early the next day for work, who may be training in the gym or watching their weight or indeed now, in the hot and humid conditions, just trying to cut down on alcohol consumption.'
The drinks industry, as a result is going through a 'premiumisation phase', evidenced by continued growth in premium, super-premium and craft categories.
This has also resulted in significant innovation among brewers, who are creating low and non-alcoholic beer alternatives, the group outlined.
So, what next?
57% of people say they’d like to see more availability of non-alcoholic beer, research shows.
This is according to a survey carried out by TheTaste and the Irish Brewers Association, with over 1,300 respondents.
ABFI believes it is useful to look internationally, to see what to expect from low and non-alcoholic beer market in the coming years.
“In the UK, sales of low and alcohol-free beers jumped 28% in the year to February 2019, compared with the previous 12 months. Many independent brewers are focusing on only producing low and non-alcoholic beers," McDade continued.
“We may see more independent and craft producers introducing these low and non-alcoholic beers here, or indeed focusing their business solely on this offering, as we have seen in the UK.”
Popular in Mediterranean
Beer is Ireland’s most popular drink and McDade points to Spain, where beer drinking is popular and an integral part of the Mediterranean culture.
“In Spain, non-alcoholic beer has become popular, accounting for around 12 per cent of the overall beer market, which is very significant, driven by the country’s after work beer and tapas culture.” he added.
“Elsewhere, we also see this trend materialising throughout other countries across Europe, leading to a significant increase in the sale of non-alcoholic beers, including a 33% sales increase in the Netherlands and an 80% sales increase in Poland in 2018 .”
McDade concluded: “This year it is anticipated that low and non-alcoholic beers will become increasingly popular again as this trend continues through 2019.”
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.