GLOBAL – The rising importance of the aperitivo occasion is driving demand for non-alcoholic substitutes that are projected to grow at a 5% volume CAGR, 2021-2026, IWSR reports.

The global alcohol market research firm notes the global spirit & wine aperitif category, which grew 23% in 2021, is still to grow even further.

Over the next few years, IWSR projects the no-alcohol volume growth overall to be shaped by a handful of dynamic markets and innovative trends such as cross-category brand mobility, “better for you” products, and specialist retail channels.

In the cross-category brand mobility, the research firm says successful no-alcohol brands are moving between no-alcohol categories in a way that is not always possible for regular alcohol.

For example, Lyre has a portfolio that is spanning spirits, RTDs, and sparkling wine same as US-based Grüvi with their range of no-alcohol beer and wine.

In France, Le Petit Béret also has plans to launch a selection of no-alcohol spirits including whisky, Bourbon, gin, and rum alternatives.

Better for you; No-alcohol products with the perception of being ‘better for you’ are innovating through the use of adaptogens, probiotics, antioxidants, nootropics, and other naturally sourced ingredients.

Dedicated routes to market; In the US for instance, an increasing number of no-alcohol-specific retailers are launching through eCommerce platforms, as well as alcohol-free bars and retail stores in major cities.

A similar trend can be seen in Australia, prompted by the fast-growing momentum of no-alcohol products across all channels.

Since No-alcohol products can be sold anywhere with no restrictions, including online through major retailers like Amazon, a contrast to the sale of traditional-strength spirits that remains largely limited in major online retailers, it is going to also aid in the growth of the category.

Growth in consumer interest and demand for no-alcohol offerings has also been identified to propel brands to continue investing and innovating in the sector that is still very much in its early growth stage of defining itself.

The alcohol market research firm notes Germany, Europe’s largest market for soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, is dominating the-alcohol volumes, but the greatest innovation in the no-alcohol space is to be found in smaller dynamic markets, such as the US, UK, France, and Australia.

These markets all recorded double-digit no-alcohol volume growth in 2020-2021, compared to a flat performance in the more mature German market, and are expected to grow in the years ahead.

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