Various studies over the past two years have shown that there was a global increase in alcohol consumption during the pandemic because many people were worried and stressed as they self-isolated due to COVID- 19.
But now it looks like a new trend is emerging, as sales statistics show that there has been an increase in purchases of beer, wine and non-alcoholic spirits.
“You can now have non-alcoholic beers so close to the real thing that you could probably fool someone on a taste test,” said Sarah Kate, a non-alcoholic sommelier who is also the website’s founder. Good clean fun.
Kate promotes a healthy, alcohol-free lifestyle and said a global survey by Bacardi Limited, the world’s largest private spirits company, found that 58% of consumers now drink drinks with little or no alcohol. alcohol for personal and mental health reasons.
Kate said that not only includes non-alcoholic beers and wines, but also spirits such as whiskeys and bourbons.
“There was a 30% increase in non-alcoholic beer sales in the US last year, so I don’t see that trend slowing down anytime soon,” Kate said.
The Junction Craft Brewery in Toronto makes many specialty craft beers, but it is also expanding into the non-alcoholic beer market. The company brews the Rival and Gruvi brands and they come in many craft flavors like Pale Ales and Juicy IPAs.
Stuart Wheldon, CEO of Junction Craft Brewery said there’s a resurgence of interest in non-alcoholic beers and it’s not just among pregnant women or designated drivers. Health-conscious consumers are looking for non-alcoholic options that still taste great.
“They’re excited to find non-alcoholic beers that feel like craft beers and have the same experience, a brand they can support. We’re seeing Canadian brands popping up in the non-alcoholic space that have that beer feel artisanal,” Wheldon said.
There is an excise tax on non-alcoholic beer that the industry has long considered unfair. It is $2.82 per hectolitre (100 litres). David Clement is the North American Affairs Director of the Consumer Choice Center in Ottawa, which represents consumer interests.
Clement said that in the last federal budget, it was announced that they were going to repeal the excise tax on non-alcoholic beer effective July 1, which he says is the right move.
“There is no alcohol-related harm in non-alcoholic products, so it didn’t make sense from our perspective to have excise taxes on anything non-alcoholic, because it doesn’t have the same risks,” Clement said.
As more people consider non-alcoholic products, more and more breweries will come on board and are expected to grow into a four billion dollar global industry within the next three years.
“You’re going to see a lot of interesting non-alcoholic beers and complementary type products over the next few years,” Wheldon said.
If you buy non-alcoholic products, you should always check the labels as some contain absolutely zero percent alcohol while others may contain half percent. It’s not a lot, but it can help you in your purchase decision.