Figures compiled by Drinks Ireland show that non-alcoholic beer sales in Ireland have more than tripled between 2017 and 2021, from 1.79 million to 5.55 million litres.
The market share for non-alcoholic beer soared by 275% during this time, from 0.4% to 1.5% and the industry anticipates that non-alcoholic beer will soar in popularity this year and beyond as Irish consumers seek more balance in their drinking and avail of the growing range of alternatives now available.
This will mirror what’s happening internationally, with the global non-alcoholic beer category predicted to grow annually by 8.7% between 2021 and 2025.
While this trend is driven by non-alcoholic beer in Ireland, sales of non-alcoholic cider and low/no alcoholic spirits both grew in 2021, by 52% and 314% respectively.
“We’re seeing that consumers in Ireland are seeking more balance when it comes to their drinking which is positive,” said Cormac Healy, Director of Drinks Ireland, “Revenue data also shows that overall alcohol consumption continues to fall in Ireland, down by around 33% in 20 years. We see research that young people in particular are cutting back and making changes.
“Drinks producers across the country are responding to growing consumer demand, through innovation and creating these great-tasting alternatives.”
As ‘Dry January’ gets underway, suppliers and operators in Ireland’s on-trade have a great opportunity to grow sales of No and Low alcohol drinks, according to research from CGA by Nielsen.
CGA’s latest On Premise User Survey also highlights recent growth in the NoLo category in Ireland’s on-trade. More than a third (37%) of Ireland’s consumers buy NoLo drinks more frequently than they did a year ago and with four in five now proactively trying to lead a healthy lifestyle, there’s plenty of headroom for growth.
CGA’s on premise measurement service shows NoLo lager remains the most popular drink in this space ‘though it has lost some share to stout and cider in the last three years. This reflects ongoing investment in new products by leading brands, helping to attract more consumers to alternatives to alcoholic beers.
There has also been extensive innovation in the mocktail and virgin cocktail category, which now ranks second to beer in popularity, with consumers of these drinks willing to pay an average of 50% more for NoLo alternatives than for soft drinks making this a particularly valuable category to target.
“January is a great time for suppliers and operators to boost No and Low alcohol drinks and keep health-focused consumers engaged with pubs, bars and restaurants,” said Sian Brennan, CGA by NielsenIQ’s Client Director for Ireland.