Global sales of low- and no-alcohol beverages are surging. Market research firm IWSR, consumption is 31percent by 2024 across 10 markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the US. Collectively, these countries account for 75percent of the low-to-no sector.
Daniel Woolfson, food and beverage editor at The Grocer, told a recent IFF occasion on the subject — NOLO LAND — that the sector has’exploded’, with growth propelled by evolving consumer behavior during COVID-19 lockdowns.
“The pandemic has helped a lot of fledgling low and no brands because it has created an environment in which people aren’t wanting to drink full strength alcohol at home all week and they are more eager to try different brands by buying them online, more open to different forms of marketing, different channels,” Woolfson believes.
“The general consensus in the drinks industry in the UK is that this really is the most exciting area of growth, of product development potentially, and in many cases, it’s seen as a really good opportunity for investment. People are comparing it to the early years of plant-based.”
So, what is driving growth in low-to-no drinks?
The biggest factor supporting growth are the improvements low- and no-alcohol beverage manufacturers have made to improve the organoleptic profile of their goods Katy Askew, Senior Editor of FoodNavigator, informed the IFF event.
“Dynamic growth seen in low-to-no can be linked to the leaps and bounds made in improving the drinking experience…. Improved depth of flavour, aroma and mouthfeel have been essential in drawing consumers into the category,” she suggested.
Future innovation will be required to’carve out’ an identity between soft and alcoholic beverages, BeverageDaily editor Rachel Arthur contended. This can be achieved by highlighting artisanal components, production procedures, or section’s health and welln