3 ways to grow non-alcoholic beer in the US

August 31, 2021
3 min read

Brewers can entice more US adults to try non-alcoholic beer by suggesting usage occasions, creating new flavors and launching organic varieties. The market potential for non-alcoholic beer in the US is large as 40% of US adult beer purchasers/drinkers would like to see more non-alcoholic options.

Show consumers that non-alcoholic beer is a smart alternative for certain occasions

Education is needed because, at this emerging stage, many US consumers simply do not understand the role and potential benefits of non-alcoholic beer.

Brands can use marketing campaigns to help adults better understand the times and settings when non-alcoholic beer is a useful alternative. Such situations include:

  • Times when alertness or control is desired or necessary, such as workday lunches
  • Parties, “sessions” or other lengthy occasions when drinkers want to maintain control by alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Providing an option for adults who have personal or health reasons to restrict their alcohol consumption.

Explain the advantages of non-alcoholic beer

It’s beer without the effects of alcohol

Non-alcoholic beer can be a refreshing option when consumers need to be alert, such as during daytime activities.

It’s a new taste experience for beer-lovers

Some US adults are interested in trying different beer styles and flavors, regardless of alcohol content.

It adds variety for non-beer drinkers

Interest in new non-alcoholic beverages overall can bring incremental sales to the beer category.

Flavors are needed to help non-alcoholic beer stand out

Flavored non-alcoholic beer can entice consumers to try non-alcoholic beer because they like the specific flavor rather than the flavor of beer on its own. Yet, to date, the vast majority of non-alcoholic beer launches measured by Mintel Purchase Intelligence have been unflavored.

Clausthaler’s Grapefruit Non-Alcoholic Blended Beer is the only flavored non-alcoholic beer introduction in the US from Jan 2017-July 2021. The product’s two highest attributes are unique and refreshing, according to Mintel Purchase Intelligence. This suggests that fruit flavors would differentiate themselves for shoppers.

Flavored non-alcoholic beer also would better compete with the variety of flavors offered by hard seltzers, which are popular among health-conscious adults, according to Mintel research on ready-to-drink (RTD) alcoholic beverages.

Develop more organic non-alcoholic beer

Organic non-alcoholic beer could help the segment connect with health-conscious adults who want drinks with multiple health aspects.

Inspiration for organic non-alcoholic beer can be found in Michelob Ultra, which extended its health image with an organic line.

Michelob Ultra Pure Gold Organic Light Lager bears the USDA Organic seal and is made from “organic ingredients sourced from the finest farms in the country.” It extended this positioning with its Organic Seltzer.

What we think

US brewers need to help more adults understand how non-alcoholic beer can fit into their lifestyles. Marketing can help explain the right occasions for alcohol-free offerings, while new flavors and organic options can bring in new consumers.

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