Big brewers see big potential in non-alcoholic beer
Source: the drinks business
by Steven Green
13th July, 2016
Anheuser-Busch InBev, who will soon make a third of the world’s beer are said to be keen on dipping into the low and non-alcohol brew market in a bid to tap into drinkers looking to live a healthier lifestyle.
The Belgian company is set to merge with its largest rival SABMiller in the near future and has already forecast that lower and zero strength beer will grow to make up 20% its sales by the end of 2025, Reuters reports.
Brewers only introduced non-alcoholic beers in the 1980s and 1990s to limited success, only what let it down then has been built on and now there is both a sustainable consumer demand as well as the simple fact that it actually tastes like beer now.
AB InBEV have already committed $1 billion to reducing alcohol abuse, with projects set to start in six US cities later in the year, and the company are now willing to spend more of their time and money on developing low and non-alcoholic beer.
Now faced with new challenges from the craft beer market, big brewers are hoping that low alcohol beers will be the way to go as a new sector to be explored.
“The higher alcohol segment is largely covered by craft,” said Euromonitor senior drinks analyst Spiros Malandrakis. “The mainstream boys have decided to go to a segment that is less saturated.”
Back in April, Chief Executive Carlos Brito told shareholders that AB InBev was falling in line with consumer trends.
“You have an ocean of opportunity, all these soft drinks, water, juices, energy drinks that today we don’t tackle,” he said.
Brewers won’t be looking at tapping into teetotallers, but will instead look to cater to the more health-conscious consumer that seeks more natural, lower calorie alternatives to what is already on the market.