Non-alcoholic beer not the drink of choice for Brits

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Bye bye beer, say European
Bye bye beer, say European

Related tags Alcoholic beverage Mintel

Brits are least likely to consume non-alcoholic beer (NAB), say statistics from Mintel, which also suggest Europeans are loosing their love of a cold pint.

The research, which looked at six key consumer markets for beer, showed 60% of Spanish consumers purchased NABs in 2013, while only 14% of Brits did the same.

Consumption of beer in Germany had also taken a hit, with more than half purchasing NABs last year, which was despite predictions Germans would purchase more than 5.9bn litres of beer this year, Mintel said.

Rise in demand

Despite a rise in consumer demand for alcohol-free beer, NAB launches only accounted for 3% of all global beer launches this year, which is 1% lower than last year, Mintel said.

Although NAB launches had dropped off in the past decade, sales were expected to continue to rise, Jonny Forsyth, Mintel's global drinks analyst said.

A rise of high-quality and good-tasting NABs from countries such as Germany would break the stigma that all NABs were poor imitations of alcoholic beer, he added.

“NAB has huge long-term potential, both in Muslim-dominated regions and health-conscious, but beer-loving, western markets,”​ Forsyth said.

“This is an area of innovation which all major brewers should be focusing on as consumers want reassurance of product quality,​ [which is] something trusted brands can provide.”

Increased interest

Uptake of low-alcohol beers should also be an area of increased interest for manufacturers, Forsyth said. There were more and more launches of fruit-flavoured beers with an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 23%, he added.

“Despite the latest NABs imitating the focus on fruit-flavoured innovation, the two are completely different products. Lower ABV beers provide a more ‘sessionable’ option for beer drinkers who want to look after their health and stay in control.”

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