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Non-alcoholic beer sheds its stigma

Oktoberfest draws all eyes on Germany, as the beer tents open. But as global consumers’ interests and lifestyles shift, it may be lighter beer that’s filling the steins this year. New research from Mintel reveals that over one quarter of German consumers (27 percent) agree that low/no alcohol beer tastes just as good as full-strength beer. While younger consumers may have been the most enthusiastic beer drinkers in previous generations, today, this cohort is among the most likely to see the merits of low/no alcohol beer: three in 10 Germans aged 18-24 (31 percent) agree that low/no alcohol beer tastes just as good as ‘regular’ beer (4-6 percent ABV).
Just 9% of Germans say they would be embarrassed to be seen drinking low/no alcohol beer.
With many consumers enjoying the taste of non-alcoholic beer, the stigma may now be disappearing. Mintel research highlights that a mere 9 percent of German consumers say they would be embarrassed to be seen drinking low/no alcohol beer.
“As health and wellness trends influence alcohol consumption more and more, consumers are being drawn towards moderate beer options and the stigma of drinking low and no alcohol beer is being challenged,” said Jonny Forsyth, Global Food & Drink Analyst at Mintel. “Looking to the future, the global beer market will see even more moderate innovation as Millennials, in particular, seek healthier and less calorific beer options. This goes hand-in-hand with a number of brands working to raise the quality of the product, especially non-alcoholic beers. The German market is producing high quality, non-alcoholic beer and, as a result, it has now become a mainstream option. German beer drinkers may not have a history of moderation, but this is changing.”
This Oktoberfest it seems many will be opting for a low/no alcohol beer in order to forgo the hangover. Among German consumers, over half (53 percent) agree there is “less chance of getting a hangover if you drink low/no alcohol beer, rather than full strength (4-6 percent ABV).” This rises to three in five French consumers (61 percent).
But it’s not just the hangover that consumers are keen to steer clear of; over half of consumers in France (56 percent) agree that low/no alcohol beer allows you to stay in control when drinking.
“Control has become a key watchword for today’s younger drinkers. Unlike previous cohorts, their nights out are documented through photos, videos and posts across social media where it is likely to remain for the rest of their lives. Over-drinking is therefore something many seek to avoid,” added Forsyth.


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