Over the last few years, consumers have been practicing more conscious drinking, whether that’s abstaining, sipping low-proof drinks or tiger-striping — switching between no-alcohol drinks and regular-strength drinks,
In 2022, sales of no- and low-alcohol beverages grew by more than 7% in volume across 10 key global markets, surpassing $11 billion in market value. This is up from $8 billion shown in 2018, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.
The pace of growth is expected to surpass that of the last four years, continuing at a CAGR of 7%, compared to a CAGR of 5% between 2018 and 2022.
“The dynamic no/low-alcohol category presents opportunities for incremental sales growth as consumers are recruited from drinks categories such as soft drinks and water” comments Susie Goldspink, Head of No- and Low-Alcohol, IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. “Brand owners have an opportunity to recruit non-drinkers of alcohol.”
The IWSR cites an expansion in taste, production techniques and ‘a diversification of consumption occasions’ are driving the category’s growth.
Ten markets were examined for this report, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Spain, the U.K. and the US.
Credit the non-alcoholic category for the category’s growth — the sector is expected to account for more than 90% of the total category growth. Non-alcoholic products grew by 9% in 2022.
“As more people opt to avoid alcohol on certain occasions – or abstain from it altogether – no-alcohol is steadily increasing its share of the no/low category,” says Goldspink.
“No-alcohol is growing faster than low-alcohol in most markets,” she continues. “The countries where this does not apply, such as Japan and Brazil, are early-stage low-alcohol markets with a small volume base.”
Germany, currently the largest no- and low-alcohol market in the world, is showing the most promise. But the market is struggling and the IWSR predicts that Germany will see start to see growth slow due to the market’s maturity.
The IWSR expects Australia, Canada and the US to see double-digit volume growth by 2026.
Other large takeaways of the report:
Non-Alcoholic Beer: The biggest contribution to the NA category’s growth (70%) is no-alcohol beer and cider. The US and Japan are the biggest markets for non-alcoholic RTDs (ready-to-drinks). “No-alcohol spirits will see some of the more dynamic growth, as brand owners invest in innovation, and products are given more space by retailers and the on-trade,” the report states.
More Mature Consumers: Millennials are the age group for no- and low-consumers. The IWSR finds that consumers in this age group like to switch between alcohol and non (or low) — 78% of consumers of no- or low-alcohol products also drink standard alcohol. Abstainers — those who don’t drink at all — now account for 18% of no- and low-alcohol consumers. 9 out of 10 markets are seeing an increase in abstainers.