Last year the NoLo category grew its share of the total beverage alcohol market to 3% and volumes are forecast to grow by 31% by 2024 according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis’ No- and Low-Alcohol Strategic Study 2021.
The comprehensive study examines the NoLo space in 10 focus countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the US. Together these represent over 75% of global NoLo alcohol consumption.
While the traditional alcohol market’s greater exposure to bars and restaurants saw it struggle in the wake of mass venue closures across the world, NoLo categories have seen largely positive (albeit muted) growth, with a volume consumption increase in the above 10 markets of approximately 1% in 2020.
“What we’re seeing is a moderation trend that’s sweeping across key global markets and that’s bringing with it increased demand for reduced alcohol or alcohol-free drinks,” says IWSR Chief Executive Mark Meek, “Brand-owners will have an important role to play in the future development of no- and low-alcohol as increasing the breadth of products available to consumers and their price points will support category growth and broaden its appeal.”
58% of consumers drink NoLo and full-strength alcohol on same occasion
Examining the consumer drivers and occasions for drinking NoLo alcohol beverages, IWSR research shows that people are mainly choosing to drink NoLo beverages to ‘avoid the effects of drinking alcohol’ but it also highlights a marked preference for moderation over abstention: more than half (58%) of NoLo consumers choose to switch between NoLo and full-strength alcohol products on the same occasion while only 14% state they don’t drink alcohol at all.
The most popular occasion to consume NoLo products is when relaxing at home (64%) and the category’s suitability to low-tempo occasions is a key reason to why it has been so resilient during the pandemic.
Beer dominates NoLo alcohol but spirits post largest volume increases
IWSR’s study finds that, driven by early innovation and investment in quality, the NoLo beer and cider category dominates the NoLo market overall, commanding 92% of the total NoLo alcohol segment. Thanks to investment in the category by the major brewers consumers are becoming more familiar and accepting of NoLo beer as a quality product. While several key beer players continue to steer the category, the market is fragmented with a number of smaller brands vying to establish themselves as market leaders in this space.
The segment is likely to become even more of a focus for smaller craft producers who’ll bring a diverse range of products to the market.
But NoLo beer registered a flat performance for the 2019-2020 period, up just 0.5%.
In contrast the NoLo spirits category – with just 0.6% of the NoLo market – increased volume sales by 32.7%, largely thanks to new interest in home experimentation among consumers. New product development and increasing consumer demand for NoLo spirits will see the category experience the largest volume CAGR rate between 2020 and 2024 at approximately 14%.
NoLo wine increased sales by 4.9% last year, having made strong gains in the US and the UK and are expected to command a 7% to 8% volume CAGR 2020 to 2024.
According to IWSR’s Top Five Trends for 2021, No- and Low-alcohol offerings have now become aspirational rather than subject to derision, with 2020 cementing the NoLo category as a mainstay in consumers’ drinking repertoire. Indeed Covid has helped drive both the at-home occasion and an increased awareness of health and wellness.
IWSR’s research shows that across key NoLo markets relaxing at home represents the category’s key drinking occasion. These consumer attitudes are set to continue into 2021, believes IWSR.
Where NoLo offerings were once almost stigmatised, the category has now become aspirational, with consumers increasingly willing to pay a premium for NoLo products.
Peroni Libera 0.0% and Aston Martin Cognizant F1 team announce multi-year partnership
Asahi Europe & International-owned Italian brand Peroni Nastro Azzurro launched its first non-alcoholic beer Peroni Libera 0.0% in 2019. The Super Premium Peroni Libera 0.0% is triple-hopped and made with Nostrano Peroni Maize to produce its distinctive rich fruity aroma, states the company, adding that Peroni Libera 0.0% offers distinct notes of citrus and powerful hoppy bitterness, resulting in a crisp and refreshing finish.
It adds, “Peroni Libera 0.0% offers the same fresh taste experience as Peroni Nastro Azzurro and has been crafted with authentic Italian skill, passion and flair”.
Peroni Libera 0.0% has also announced a long-term, multi-year partnership with the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team.
The new partnership celebrates the global launch of Peroni Libera 0.0% as a stylish and aspirational alcohol-free beer choice and comes as the Aston Martin Cognizant F1 team prepares to make its highly anticipated return to Formula One after more than 60 years.
The partnership is in line with parent company Asahi Europe & International’s responsible drinking ambition to have 20% of its portfolio dedicated to non-alcoholic products by 2030.
Peroni Libera 0.0% invites consumers to feel free to live every moment, safely and in style, inspiring them to drink less but better by providing an aspirational choice which suits their lifestyle.
It will be served at prestigious events across the global F1 calendar.
Independent Dundalk-based family business Noreast has been specialising in sourcing, importing and marketing exclusive ranges of the finest NoLo beers to the Irish drinks trade since its formation in 1995.
Besides being pleasingly refreshing, according to Noreast Beers, Erdinger Alkoholfrei non-alcoholic wheat beer (0.5%) has reduced calories (107 kj/25 Kcal per 100ml). Alkoholfrei’s monosaccharides, like glucose and fructose provide energy quickly while polysaccharides (carbohydrates) provide longer-lasting energy.
In the late 90s, Erdinger Weissbräu revolutionised the beer market with this the first non-alcoholic beer to be a true sports drink too.
With its isotonic properties it’s the ideal regeneration drink after sports. Despite numerous imitators of its positioning and colour code, it has never relinquished its market leadership
Erdinger Lo & No Innovation Grapefruit & Lemon
Erdinger Grapefruit & Lemon are a new taste for a new wheat beer generation. With the bittersweet taste of fruit the recipe comprises purely natural ingredients without any artificial aromas or preservatives.
Erdinger Alkoholfrei Grapefruit and Lemon are the perfect product for the fast-growing, non-alcoholic mixed beer segment.
Budejovicky Budvar Non Alcoholic
The combination of traditional Budvar brewing methods and use of only the highest quality natural ingredients create a beer with a delicate full flavour but minimum alcohol content (ABV 0.5%).
Easy-drinking and ultra-refreshing with a well-balanced malt character and light hop aromas, there are plenty of snacks and dishes that work well with Krombacher Alkoholfrei 0.0% Pils. The malty sweetness means it pairs perfectly with garlic- and olive-forward pesto and pasta dishes. Also harmonious with fish dishes.
Mac Ivors Alcohol Free Cider
Mac Ivors, the multi-award-winning cider producer, has launched a refreshing new product for health-conscious consumers in its alcohol-free and low-calorie cider at only 76 calories per bottle.
The County Armagh company now offers a gluten- and alcohol-free cider, low in calories and vegan-friendly. It was created by the company’s Managing Director, experienced cidermaker Greg MacNeice who’s also exploring opportunities in Canada, Britain and other parts of Europe for the new alcohol-free cider.
It produced extremely positive feedback in taste tests, he said.
“Our aim has been to produce a genuine cider rather than a drink that tastes like apple juice – and we’ve succeeded”.
The ciders, cold-pressed and slow-fermented over eight months to ensure the outstanding flavour, are made from 100% fresh-pressed apples grown on the family farm developed to provide a richly flavoured, refreshing and aromatic craft beverage.
Mac Ivors features labels listing all the ingredients and nutritional facts, reflecting the company’s strategic focus on transparency and integrity.
It has collected a host of industry awards including Blas na hEireann and UK Great Taste Awards and is also selling its ciders to Germany, France, Russia and Scandinavia.
McGuigan launches Zero
The award-winning Australian wine brand McGuigan recently launched Zero, its alcohol-free range, in Ireland.
Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam, five high-quality wines including a Shiraz, a Chardonnay, a Sparkling, a Rosé and a Sauvignon Blanc have been launched in direct response to the rising popularity of alcohol-free beverages here.
The wines were developed using technology unique to the brand’s Buronga Hill winery in New South Wales.
Using the latest spinning cone technology and working at low temperatures to gently remove alcohol after the fermentation process McGuigan Wines ensures that the wines maintain their delicate fruit flavours and contain no artificial sweeteners or additives.
“We launched this wine range to meet a clear and specific consumer demand and we’re thrilled to see the success the range has seen to date,” said Julian Dyer, Chief Operating Officer for the UK and Europe at McGuigan Wines’ parent company Australian Vintage, “Consumers’ appetite for the No Alcohol category has continued to increase.”
Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits launched
The No and Low alcohol trend has started to pick up real momentum in Ireland, particularly throughout 2020 and consumer demand for a quality No alcohol cocktail experience is rapidly growing according to Richmond Marketing, responsible for the new Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits range here.
Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits, the world’s most comprehensive range of alcohol-free spirits and liqueurs, will help meet the demand and enhance the category.
Richmond Marketing points out that there are no convoluted new creations here but a focus on the established instead.
“While enjoying a libation at home has become the norm for those across Ireland in recent months, Lyre’s offers an alternative to alcohol with no compromise on the taste, quality or experience,” it states.
Lyre’s Chief Executive Mark Livings says, “Lyre’s ambition is not to create original, new flavours, but to get as close as possible to those time-tested and universally-loved flavours of original spirits and pay them homage.
“As the mindful drinking trend grows around the globe, more and more people are looking for sophisticated alternatives to alcohol. Lyre’s was created so social people looking for more mindful options can still enjoy a sophisticated drink.”
The diverse portfolio already boasts 13 different spirits and liqueurs including Gin, Whiskey, Rum, Campari, Dry and Sweet Vermouth, Absinthe, Triple Sec, Amaretto and Coffee Liqueur. More are to be introduced in 2021.
Lyre’s is now available in more than 30 markets globally and sees the Irish market as key for expansion.
Most awarded non-alcoholic brand
The brand “always comes out on top” and has won many international awards including at the London International Spirits Competition and the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
“When we first tried the cocktails, we couldn’t believe the similarity to their alcoholic counterparts,” said Mary-Anne Byrne, Head of Alcohol Brands at Richmond Marketing.
Most recently, the brand was recognised as the creator of the best and highest-scoring non-alcoholic spirit in the world at the International Wine & Spirits Competition.
Lyre’s cocktails have already been included on the menus of some of the world’s top 100 cocktail bars such as Happiness Forgets in London, Manhattan Bar in Singapore and Trick Dog in San Francisco.
Hollows Superior Alcoholic Ginger Beer
Hollows uses only the finest Chinese Ginger root to botanically brew Hollows Superior Alcoholic Ginger Beer. There’s no wine, nuts, hops, malts or any other artificial nonsense. That’s why the company calls it a Superior Ginger Beer.
“The quality and superior taste of Hollows is attributed to the traditional slow fermentation and botanical brewing method,” states the company, “The unique process combines the finest hand-picked herbs, natural flavourings, sugar and brewer’s yeast. ”
It’s then fermented for a two-week period with Chinese root Ginger and botanical ingredients.
The process releases a deeper and more satisfying Ginger flavour resulting in a pleasantly quaffable naturally cloudy real Ginger Beer, free from all artificial flavourings, colours and preservatives.
Seedlip teams up with Currabinny to create perfect taste experience
Seedlip, the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit, has partnered with Irish-based food company Currabinny to help create the perfect home taste experience, where bespoke dinner recipes compliment perfectly paired non-alcoholic cocktails.
People are looking for new fun ways to spend their Lockdown so, inspired by their mutual love of nature, Seedlip has teamed up with Currabinny to create delicious food and drinks inspiration, sharing recipes people can easily replicate at home.
Currabinny, founded by James Kavanagh and William Murray, takes pride in creating recipes “using the freshest and most organic ingredients possible”. Similar to Seedlip, Currabinny also immerses itself in the same ‘Farm to Fork’ philosophy.
“Seedlip is on a mission to connect people to the wonders of nature,” says its founder Ben Branson, “We source the best ingredients from the natural world to make delicious non-alcoholic drinks. Sharing a similar ethos and commitment to nature & quality ingredients, together we aim to provide an opportunity for people not drinking alcohol for whatever reason to experience grown-up & sophisticated options that pair perfectly with Currabinny’s delicious food from the comfort of their homes.”
For more information and serves visit www.seedlipdrinks.com or Instagram at @SeedlipDrinks; like on facebook at www.facebook.com/seedlipdrinks/.