National Liquor News February 2021

Page 106


Where will no-alcohol beer go in 2021? Gathering momentum, ‘nolo’ is a sustainable trend not yet being capitalised on in-store, writes Laurie Wespes, CEO of Snooper.

It’s probably safe to say that no and low (‘nolo’) alcohol products,

Author: Laurie Wespes CEO Snooper

Within beer, in 2018 nolo beer in Australia sat at 0.02 per cent

whilst perhaps leaving infancy and moving into toddlerhood,

share of beer, according to IRI data. By September 2019 no-alcohol

are unlikely to be a fad or flash in the pan given the overarching

beers were up 50 per cent versus 2018. Meanwhile, BWS has

consumer trends they tap into.

seen no-alcohol beer sales increase 60 per cent last summer and

As with any new product category or segment, its instore

Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) has been quoted as predicting


execution likewise goes through growing pains. Snooper’s

no-alcohol beer to account for two per cent of total beer by 2025.

shoppers recently had a look at how nolo beer is being executed

Globally, no-alcohol beer is projected to have a five per cent share

in-store and found a number of opportunities for improvement,

of total beer by 2027. AB Inbev has gone a step further, looking for

which we’ll discuss in this article. But first, some context.

low and no-alcohol beers to comprise 20 per cent of their volume.

The nolo beer market

Industry response: product proliferation

According to Drinkwise, in 2017 one in five adult Australians

The ability of nolo beers to compete with non-alcoholic sodas and

were avoiding alcohol and this was up from 11 per cent compared

beverages such as kombucha has been driven by the introduction

to seven years prior. This has likely increased further since,

of new products, beginning with variants from the majors. For

given the ‘mindful drinking’ trend linked to increased health

example, CUB’s Carlton Zero in 2018 was followed by Lion’s

consciousness that has only been exacerbated by the COVID

Heineken 0.0 and Peroni Libera in 2019.

pandemic, where an Illuminera study indicated that subsequent

Since then some of the craft brewers have got in on the act, both

to initial overindulgence in both snacking products and

overseas (such as Mikkeller and Brewdog), and domestically (such

alcohol earlier in the pandemic, consumers are looking to both

as Modus’ Nort, Stockade, Mornington). It should be noted that

reduce their consumption and switch to healthier alternatives.

Germany, meanwhile, has long been producing no-alcohol beers,

Accordingly, IRI data from April 2020 showed Heineken 0.0 and

by the likes of Weihenstephaner, Erdinger, Holsten and Clausthaler.

Carlton Zero to be among the top five beer brands in unit growth. Further, alongside an industry push to moderation, consumer abstention events such as Dry July, FebFast and OcSober have

Now we are also seeing the introduction of specialist noalcohol beer brands, such as Nirvana, Upflow and Sobah. The size of the nolo category, across liquor segments, is such

proliferated and represent good occasion based marketing

that there are now nolo specialist retailers such as the online pure

opportunities for no-alcohol beverages.

play company called Sans Drinks.

106 | National Liquor News

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