Low/no ABV beverages have shown continuous growth after the pandemic. During the pandemic, adults drank alcoholic beverages more than ever before which has now led to a more recent trend on health and wellness. The low-calorie, as well as low ABV options, have gained consumer awareness with operators. 66% of consumers are familiar with low/no ABV beverages and have tried them before. Between August 2021 and 2022, the total dollar sales of non-alcoholic drinks in the U.S. stood at $395 million with a growth of 20.6%. Non-alcoholic beer has the largest share followed by wine then spirits.
IWSR expects non-alcoholic volumes to grow at a CAGR of 9% in 2022 through 2026. Consumers are wanting to pay the same price or less for low/no ABV compared to regular ABV drinks. Casual bars and dining are the most preferred outing for low/no ABV consumption. Lunch is the most likely time to consume low-alcohol drinks; however, dinner is the most likely time to consume at restaurants.
American wine consumption is projected to decline once again this year but one of the bright spots within the industry is the continued success of the so-called “Better-For-You” segment. These trending wines boast fewer calories, fewer carbohydrates, and lower alcohol, and most of the brands have zero residual sugar. The “Better For You” wines contributes to over $700 million in annual sales in U.S. retail. As a result of this growth, restaurant operators are starting to menu health-conscious brands like Kim Crawford Illuminate, Fitvine, Yellow Tail Pure Bright, and Cupcake Lighthearted.
Non-alcoholic spirits in retail contribute to around $13.5 million in sales as of July 2023. This is almost twice the sales volume versus last year. Ritual Zero is the leading brand with Seedlip taking a massive loss in share to growing brands like Clean Co and Mingle. These drinks, many of which mimic or are inspired by popular alcoholic spirits like gin, rum, and tequila offer consumers a means to moderate, without giving up their favorite mixed drink or cocktail. Production techniques vary from brand to brand, but most involve some sort of steam distillation, infusing the flavors of botanicals found in popular alcoholic drinks into a non-alcoholic liquid base.
With more consumers choosing non-alcoholic beers in a move towards healthier drinking alternatives and safer drinking habits, the global non-alcoholic beer market has grown to $22 billion in 2022, according to GMI Insights, which is projected to reach $40 billion by 2032. In the U.S., non-alcoholic beer grew 20% in retail dollars in the past year. The lack of restrictions on alcohol-free products enables completely new access and experiences. This spans the introduction of non-alcoholic beer in gyms, fast food joints, supermarkets, and just about anywhere that sells H2O.