The steady growth of low and no alcohol beers presents a new opportunity, and Spain’s ‘best tasting’ alcohol-free beer is the ideal product to help you cash in.

We are all aware of the growth of the low and no alcohol beer category in the last two years. It’s driven by an increased focus on health, especially during the pandemic, and by a wider trend towards moderation.

We can only see this continuing to grow in future. The great news for our customers is that the variety, quality and availability of low and no alcohol beers is growing month on month. This presents venue operators with exciting new opportunities to increase sales, footfall and profit.

Beer is already high in vitamins, minerals and fibre as it is produced through completely natural fermentation. Non-alcoholic beers share these characteristics as well as having isotonic benefits and a low calorie content. How we, as brands and publicans, connect with consumers and drive the health message through social marketing will dictate the pace of growth in the future.

This opportunity is particularly important in the early months of the year. For instance, one in six (18%) adults who drink alcohol planned to have a month off drinking for January 2023. This is estimated at 7.9 million UK adults – up from an estimated 6.5 million in 2022, a 22% increase.

It’s also worth noting however, that low and no can play a role all year round. While many may assume that ‘Dry January’ is the peak moderation month, June is actually the most popular time to moderate alcohol consumption.

Low and no is especially important to younger, more affluent consumers. 

Under-45s account for over a quarter of all spend in the category, compared to just 18% of total alcohol spend. But while low and no is particularly appealing to younger drinkers, every age bracket (with the single exception of 50+ males) has grown its share of drinkers looking to moderate.

As low and no tastes have evolved, so too has the range and quality of products available. Estrella Galicia 0.0% is a great example. Produced by a 115-year-old family-owned independent brewery in Galicia in north-western Spain, Estrella Galicia 0.0% was voted “Spain’s best tasting non-alcoholic beer” by Spanish consumer organisation OCU – and for good reason.

Greene King is the UK’s exclusive distributor of this top quality beer. It is brewed based on the full strength Estrella Galicia recipe, using an interrupted fermentation technique specifically designed to ensure the highest quality and taste while avoiding the generation of alcohol.

A versatile, refreshing and light Pilsner-style beer, it is full of hoppy and bitter flavours with a crisp freshness that makes it great for an aperitif and general drinking. It also pairs well with dishes such as seafood, cheese and lighter meats like chicken.

What’s more, the Estrella Galicia brewery officially achieved carbon neutrality in March 2021: something which is important to an increasing number of drinkers.

Interestingly, alcohol-free beer accounts for a significant 14% of the total beer trade in Estrella Galicia’s native Spanish market. In the UK alcohol-free beer accounts for less than 1% of total sales – so we can see huge growth potential in the UK, especially with the breakthrough of non-alcoholic beer onto draught.

There’s never been a better time to take a fresh look at your low and no alcohol beer range and to help your customers discover Spain’s best tasting non-alcoholic beer.

ABOUT KELLY

Kelly Hall is Head of Brand Partnerships at Greene King. She manages the relationships with Greene King partner brands, helping them to drive growth. She has more than 20 years of experience working in large FMCG companies, including 13 years at Britvic where she was Senior National Account Manager in the on-trade. Latterly, she was Brand Activation Manager for the soft drinks giant, helping to develop activation strategies for challenger brands. She also spent five years at Molson Coors as a Senior Shopper Marketing Manager, developing activation strategies with top grocery accounts.