There is no denying that the alcohol-free beverage industry has gone through quite the transformation in the last few years. Asking for an alcohol-free drink at a pub, bar or restaurant would have got you a strange look a decade or two ago but nowadays you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Many establishments have quite the varied alcohol-free selection these days and they are also a common sight in super markets and off-licences. So, yes they are much more common these days and signs point to them only growing more and more in the next few years.
So, the alcohol-free industry is worth much more these days but still, it faces quite a lot of competition, doesn’t it? After all, alcohol-free alternatives will have to compete with juices and soft drinks, and they are big markets. Well, let’s take a closer look at the state of the alcohol-free industry these days and see how much it’s really worth.
A Growing Market
Market data experts CGA highlighted some impressive figures regarding alcohol-free beverages showing that alcohol-free beer sales were up by 407% by early February 2019. Alcohol-free beer was also the fastest-growing drinks trend in the Summer of 2019 and overall sales were up by 58% when compared to 2018.
This data was backed up by the market researchers Nielsen who reported that sales of alcohol-free beverages were up by over a third in 2019 compared to 2018. And from April 2018 to April 2019 57 million pounds had been spent on alcohol-free beer alone.
Alcohol-free wines had a similarly impressive level of growth during this period with total sales of around 48 million. Alcohol-free spirits also hit a high of 25 million for the same period which while much lower than alcohol-free beers and wines is still impressive when you consider alcohol-free spirits is still an emerging market in the UK.
The exact value of the alcohol-free beverage industry in the UK is a little difficult to define with an exact figure. When you consider the rapid rise in popularity over the last few years this is understandable, but we do have enough data to give you a rough idea. So, let’s see what we can work out so far.
The £100 million figure is reported frequently in the UK press about the value of the alcohol-free beverage market and while this is certainly impressive it still pales in comparison to the huge value of the alcoholic beverage industry. However, there is a lot of evidence to show that this figure could actually be a little out of date.
The 2019 Buyer’s Guide to Mindful Drinking summarised the value on the alcohol-free beverage market to be around £116 million. Which when looking at the growing trends on alcohol-free beverages certainly seems more likely.
So, the alcohol-free beverage market in the UK is certainly quite valuable but still much smaller than the alcoholic beverages market. But let’s be honest this shouldn’t really surprise anyone as the alcohol-free beverage market is still emerging and growing. And summarising the current value doesn’t tell us the whole story either.
A Look To The Future
Looking at the current value of the alcohol-free beverage market doesn’t tell us the whole story. In fact, when looking at the value of an industry you need to look to the future. So, what does the future look like for the alcohol-free beverage industry?
Well the future looks bright we have already seen how the alcohol-free market has grown over the last few years, but research suggests this trend is only going to continue. The 2019-2024 Global Non-Alcoholic Beer Market Report suggests that the global alcohol-free market could grow to an impressive $7050 million.
For comparison, the same report states the value is around $4520 million so that is a large growth in just a few years. Overall, the alcohol-free beverage industry is growing in value all the time and while it might still be small in comparison to the alcoholic beverage industry in the next few years it could be quite a significant part of the overall beverage industry.
The growth of the alcohol-free beverage industry shows how society's attitude towards alcohol is changing. More people (particularly younger people) are not drinking alcohol at all and has more and more people adopt this attitude the alcohol-free industry will only grow.
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