China Food

This generation of young people don’t drink beer, but fall in love with its double?

from sniffing to approaching actively, people’s attitude towards alcohol free beer is gradually changing

Text: Carol he

Source: foodaily daily food (ID: foodaily)

“A person’s small wine”, “drinking is pleasant, feelings and life” Different from the heavy drinking and free drinking of traditional wine culture, slightly drunk low alcohol wine is capturing the hearts of young people with a soothing and pleasing lifestyle.
With the slightly drunk wind, the low alcohol liquor track is booming, which makes the beer category, which belongs to low alcohol liquor but has been in the bottleneck period for a long time, really jealous.
If today’s low alcohol liquor track is pleasing to young women, as the predecessor of low alcohol liquor, beer has long been the “dream wine” of countless men, accompanying them through all kinds of important scenes and moments in life.
Source: Craig Ferguson / lightrocket from Getty Images
However, contrary to the hot situation of low alcohol liquor, the domestic traditional beer track has entered the bottleneck period from increment to stock since 2013. The growth rate has slowed down and the sales volume has declined. The young people who used to love beer are getting older, but the new generation of young people don’t seem to like beer very much.
Throughout the domestic beer industry in recent years, players are all seeking breakthrough solutions through various ways. Foodaily noted that recently, the beer track is ready to move again. Following the high-end and healthy trend of low alcohol wine, the concept of alcohol free beer seems to be emerging.
Source: Sarah Lawrence for VOX
What is alcohol free beer and how did it develop? Why is the market of alcohol free beer becoming popular? From niche category to potential dark horse, will non-alcoholic beverages represented by non-alcoholic beer set off new waves in China? Looking overseas, where the alcohol free beer market is more mature, what inspiration and inspiration can Chinese brands get?
Foodaily is here to lead you to find out.

past and present life of alcohol free beer

1) What is alcohol free beer?
Known as the secret weapon of “never getting drunk”, alcohol-free beer is not completely alcohol-free. In the international market, alcohol free beer generally refers to beer that has an alcohol content not exceeding 0.5%vol, which has the characteristics of ordinary beer such as color, fragrance and foam. Therefore, excessive consumption of alcohol free beer may still meet the drunk driving standard.
Source: hotels
In China, in order to fill the gap in the national standard and standardize the development of alcohol free beer, the China Alcohol Industry Association issued the executive standard of “t / CBJ 3108 alcohol free beer” in October 2021: alcohol free beer is beer with wine accuracy less than or equal to 0.5% vol, of which 0.0% alcohol free beer is beer with wine accuracy less than 0.05% Vol.
Photo source: T / CBJ 3108 alcohol free beer
2) Without alcohol, how can there be a soul of wine?
With the characteristics of almost no alcohol and the social attribute of alcoholic beverages, alcohol free beer meets the people who like the taste of alcohol but can’t accept alcohol.
What we have gained is lost. Alcohol free beer has therefore been questioned.
Since the alcohol content is so low, why doesn’t alcohol free beer be classified as a beverage and included in the beer category?
This is because the production process, production standards and raw materials of alcohol free beer are almost the same as those of beer.
Using the main raw materials of beer (water, yeast, malt and hops), alcohol free beer will go through the conventional processes of crushing malt, sugar production, boiling, cooling, fermentation, maturation and packaging, but it is necessary to limit the generation of alcohol (ethanol) during fermentation or remove the alcohol from the beer after fermentation.
Ordinary beer production process, picture source: Chuancai Securities Research Institute
The methods to limit the formation of alcohol mainly include terminating fermentation, using special yeast, cold contact method, using immobilized yeast or bioreactor, etc. The production process of limited fermentation is simple and low cost. Generally, the final product will have strong wort flavor and color.
After fermentation, alcohol is removed by heat treatment, membrane separation and extraction, which often damages the flavor, taste and freshness of the dealcoholized beer. It needs to be improved by adding fermentation broth, draft beer or mature beer.
3) Development of alcohol free beer
The birth of alcohol free beer stems from the evolution of low alcohol beer.
When brewing beer, the broken malt is soaked in hot water. The first bubble has the strongest taste, while after the second bubble and the third bubble, the taste becomes weaker and weaker, and the alcohol degree becomes lower. This second and third bubble low alcohol beer is called small beer. Its development history can be traced back to the middle ages. In England before the 19th century, small beer was often used as a safe alternative to contaminated drinking water.
In 1751, William Hogarth’s beer street,
Source: anchor brewing
The real commercialization and promotion of alcohol free beer in large-scale enclosure can be traced back to the large-scale prohibition movement in Europe and America after the 19th century. In 1919, the US Congress approved the extremely strict “wolsted National Prohibition Act” and stipulated that no beverage with alcohol accounting for more than 0.5% should be sold.
After the Act came into force, more than 1000 manufacturers were quickly banned from selling the commodity they were able to support their families: alcohol. In order to find a way out and maintain business, some breweries were forced to transform and start brewing beer with very low alcohol content. The alcohol content stipulated by wolsted has become the origin of the standard of alcohol free beer in the future.
After the prohibition order was issued, the wine merchants were forced to pour out the wine. Source: sober curios
In 1933, after the end of the prohibition of alcohol in the United States, only a few people still drank alcohol free beer. In Europe, alcohol free beer has not been warm.
In the 1980s, the harm of drunk driving began to be paid attention to. After Guinness launched the alcohol free lager kalibaer in the UK, Budweiser InBev also launched the alcohol free beer brand “o’dul’s” in the US market. The category of alcohol free beer has entered the stage of brand development, but there is still no big storm. After 2010, with the rise of the concept of health, more and more beer manufacturers have entered the track of alcohol free beer.
In 2017, Heineken launched alcohol free beer “Heineken 0.0” in the European market, and then extended to the American market; In 2020, Heineken also established cooperation with the European Cup. BrewDog in the UK also opened its first fine BrewDog beer bar in 2020. After continuously educating consumers on the consumption awareness of alcohol free beer and expanding their acceptance, alcohol free beer has gradually entered the public vision and become a consumption trend.
Source: Heineken
In addition to becoming popular in Europe and America, alcohol free beer is also popular in Asia. As a country that began to develop the alcohol free beer market earlier, according to statista, the sales of alcohol free beer category of Kirin Beer accounts for about 10% of the beer category. In India, the inminster study shows that 38% of Indians want to move from a standard concentration of beer to a low alcohol or non-alcoholic version.
According to the data of businesswire, the global market share of alcohol free beer in 2021 is about 16 billion US dollars, and the market is expected to reach 23.27 billion US dollars in 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 8.7%. According to the research report released by IWSR in June 2020, alcohol free beer is expected to increase by nearly 50% in the next five years.
However, in the view of domestic consumers, most people’s cognition of alcohol free beer is still unclear. Even think that if you don’t want to drink alcohol, you can drink other drinks without drinking. Why drink non-alcoholic drinks? Will alcohol free beer, which is becoming more and more popular overseas, usher in new opportunities in the domestic market?

“turn over the serfs and sing”, is the spring of alcohol free beer coming?

In fact, the concept of alcohol free beer has entered the Chinese market for a long time. In 1985, Guangdong Jiangmen beverage factory introduced China’s first alcohol free beer production line from Germany’s Wyner company. Subsequently, Qingdao Beer Company Weifang branch, Shandong Huazhong amber beer company and other companies also successively introduced alcohol free beer production equipment from abroad.
However, alcohol free beer, which started earlier, did not improve until the Ministry of Public Security launched the action to crack down on drunk driving in 2009, but it still did not make much progress.
Source: new zero
The consumption scenario of alcohol free beer is relatively single, which generally exists only as a substitute when beer cannot be drunk. Moreover, the acceptance and recognition of domestic consumers are not high. For beer lovers, alcohol free beer with weak flavor is not as good as cheap and inferior beer with strong taste.
But recently, there seems to be a new movement in alcohol free beer.
From the market perspective, according to the statistics of industrial information network, from 2017 to 2020, the import volume of alcohol free beer increased from 584.4 kiloliters in 2017 to 2475.7 kiloliters in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of 62%.
At the same time, the online turnover of alcohol free beer is also growing rapidly. According to the annual beer report of Jingdong liquor industry, the turnover of alcohol free beer increased eight times year-on-year in 2021.
In addition to the rapid growth of consumption demand for alcohol free beer, major domestic beer brands also have insight into the development trend of alcohol free beer.
Source: new zero
Chongqing alcohol free beer will successively launch bottled and canned alcohol free beer in 2020; Yanjing upgraded the previously launched alcohol free beer and launched alcohol free white beer with zero fat, low sugar and retaining the pure flavor of German white beer in 2021; Wusu Beer launched “Wusu small orange fruit” in the non-alcoholic beverage market in the second half of 2021; The new brand of alcohol free beer established in early 2020 launched a new alcohol free Pearson beer with zero sucrose, zero fat and rich dietary fiber.
Source: Wusu Beer
Why did the alcohol free beer, which has been silent for decades, suddenly rise in recent years? Foodaily believes that the following reasons are driving the rapid development of alcohol free beer.
1) Encountering the “middle-aged crisis”, the beer industry needs to add new vitality
After reaching its peak in 2013, China’s beer production continued to decline, from an annual output of 49.83 million kiloliters in 2013 to below 3.88 million tons in 2019. China’s major beer consumers (aged 20-34) also fell from 27.3% in 2000 to 21.8% in 2020, with a CAGR of – 2.2%.
At the same time, as the cost of raw materials and packaging materials continues to rise, the cost side pressure of beer manufacturers is also higher and higher. There is cost pressure and oversupply competition. The beer industry is facing a “middle-aged crisis” with old and small.
Source: Baker pedia
The blindly low-cost promotion is unsustainable. In the case of little overall room for improvement, the high-end consumption upgrading of beer will be the main driving force for the development of beer.
As an emerging sub category, alcohol free beer not only caters to the current health needs of consumers for low alcohol or even alcohol-free, but also conforms to the development trend of beer consumption upgrading.
Alcohol free beer is expected to become one of the new profit growth points of beer enterprises.
In order to support the healthy development of alcohol free beer, the executive standard of “t / CBJ 3108 alcohol free beer” newly issued by China Wine Association in 2021 guides major alcohol free beer brands to adjust and innovate products according to specifications, and promotes the development of alcohol free beer categories from disorderly competition with different original standards to standardized, orderly and high-quality development.
2) Healthy, rational drinking and no alcohol can also become a label
In the environment of healthy diet, low calorie and low sugar have become the standard of most healthy foods. So in the wine drinking track, alcohol-free naturally has the strength to become a health label.
As we all know, excessive drinking will not only cause serious damage to the liver and pancreas, affect the normal metabolism of these organs, but also harm the central nervous system. In severe cases, it will also cause alcoholism.
At the same time, a series of negative news caused by excessive drinking has led to the concept of “rational drinking” becoming more and more popular. The World Health Organization has also set a goal of reducing harmful drinking by 10% in the world by 2025.
You should not drink alcohol under the following circumstances: the first “0” refers to when you are below the legal drinking age, and the second “0” refers to during pregnancy and lactation
Source: responsible drinking eu
Alcohol free beer with almost no alcohol not only caters to the low alcohol demand under the general health trend, but also conforms to the mainstream concept of rational drinking.
3) The taste is upgraded and the choices are diverse to cater to new consumers
With the change of the intergenerational structure of Chinese consumers, generation Z and millennials have become the mainstream consumer groups. Quality, personality and pleasure are their main consumer demands. The increase of per capita disposable income also makes them more willing to pay for the added value of products.
With the development of alcohol free beer brewing technology, the taste of alcohol free beer has been closer to that of ordinary beer. The problem of alcohol free beer, which is often criticized for its lack of alcohol flavor, has been greatly improved.
At the same time, many brands have made innovations in product and marketing upgrading of alcohol free beer, which can better meet the health and pleasant needs of consumers, such as alcohol-free, low sugar, low calorie, etc., and provide more diversified choices of alcohol-free beer.

what are the ideas of breaking the circle of alcohol free beer?

As a newly developed sub category, if alcohol free beer is to move from a niche category to a broader mass market, the first step should be to deeply excavate and shape the consumption scene of alcohol free beer and cultivate consumers’ consumption cognition and consumption habits.
At the time of the development and rise of domestic alcohol free beer category, some brands focus on the single pain point of alcohol free beer, which is only aimed at the consumption scene of controlling drinking and reasonable drinking, so as to seek opportunities to break the circle and quickly occupy the minds of consumers.
In 2021, Yanjing Beer cooperated with TMIC tmall new product innovation center to accurately incubate products that meet the needs of young people by using big data, and launched Yanjing alcohol free white beer. Taking “alcohol free, zero fat and low sugar” as the product concept, Yanjing Beer innovated by combining alcohol free beer with German white beer, so as to enable consumers to “participate” in product innovation and R & D.
After winning the silver medal of China’s alcohol free / low alcohol beer group in the 2021 world beer competition, this Yanjing alcohol free white beer won the gold medal in the Brussels International Beer challenge, one of the most famous beer competitions in the world.
Although Yanjing white beer has repeatedly shown brilliant achievements in international beer competitions, it has not received much attention in the domestic market.
Photo source: Yanjing Beer
The new zero of alcohol free beer brand established in early 2020 has targeted beer lovers who have card control and alcohol intake control but pursue taste and health, further opening the domestic alcohol free beer market. With the theme of “happiness has nothing to do with drunkenness”, new zero points out that happiness is related to social interaction, alcohol, atmosphere and safety through the characteristics of alcohol free beer.
Source: new zero
After six months of publicity and sales, the “happy + healthy” life attitude of new zero alcohol beer has successfully won a number of consumers with brand stickiness. Online channels, new zero sales performance is also very bright. The first series of products surpassed Qingdao, Yanjing, Qilin and other brands within one month after launch, and continued to be the top 1 in the sales volume of alcohol free beer of and tmall. At present, its repurchase rate exceeds 30%, and the repurchase rate of three or more times has also reached 10%.
These domestic liquor brands have insight into the development potential and consumption demand of alcohol free beer, and are the first to stand out in the alcohol free beer market. So for the new players who enter the alcohol free beer track, what directions can they differentiate and subdivide from?
Let’s take a look at how the more mature overseas alcohol free beer market makes a big fuss on alcohol free beer.
1) Upgrade the flavor and enrich the “soul” of the wine
The left picture shows Heineken original (green label), and the right picture shows Heineken 0.0 (blue label). Source: Heineken
When referring to the representative products of alcohol free beer, we must talk about Heineken 0.0 alcohol free beer. After its launch in 2017, this Heineken 0.0 quickly exceeded expectations, achieved success in 38 markets around the world, and driven Heineken’s beer sales to achieve strong growth.
After 15 years of research and development, Heineken 0.0 has the same flavor as Heineken’s traditional malt beer Heineken original. Using the same ingredients as Heineken original (water, barley malt, hops extract and Heineken a yeast), the alcohol is removed by vacuum distillation, and the beer is perfectly integrated with natural flavor.
In addition to being loyal to the flavor of beer itself, it is also a new direction to add fruit juice and even introduce lactic acid bacteria for fermentation and seasoning to produce unique flavor on the basis of alcohol free beer.
Image source: Toast
Toast raspberry sour beer is a 0.5% vol beer with raspberry aroma. It uses the remaining idle fresh bread to replace one-third of the malted barley in the required raw materials. It tastes sour and refreshing. It can be used as a perfect refreshing wine in summer.
2) Focus on lifestyle, bars, restaurants Consumption scenario: more yuan
Source: Peroni
Asahi Asahi launched Peroni Libera 0.0% alcohol free beer in the UK. With fashionable packaging and Peroni’s familiar light and refreshing taste, it was quickly welcomed by British consumers. Based on the concept of “letting customers experience the luxury provided by high-quality brands”, this alcohol free beer provides a new fashion way to enjoy alcohol free beer in bars, restaurants and other places.
In 2019 alone, Peroni Libera’s sales reached £ 2.96 million, becoming the first beer brand product launched in the UK market in 2019. In 2020, the sales of this product increased to £ 3.24 million.
3) Reduce sugar and calories, add buff to nutrients and functional components
Photo source: Suntory
Suntory all free launched by Suntory is a very popular alcohol free beer in Japan. The taste is fresh and similar to that of a prepared wine. Suntory all free with 0 calorie, 0 sugar and no alcohol can be called the “three no products” in alcoholic beverages. Targeting young female consumers, Suntory all free adds additional collagen to meet the needs of beauty.
Source: fungtn
In the UK, fungtn added medicinal mushrooms that can enhance immunity to alcohol free brewed beer, aiming to provide people with a way of drinking that is neither hangover free nor conducive to physical and mental health. Organically grown Hericium erinaceus, Siberian wild birch antler and Ganoderma lucidum are added to the three flavors of the series.
Source: so Beer
Unlike most alcohol free beers, the Irish brand so Beer launched so Beer light lager refreshing is brewed in non-alcoholic form from the beginning. The product adopts immunoboost ™ Patented formula replaces alcohol and adds β- A mixture of glucan, B-complex vitamins and polyphenols.
With functional natural ingredients as raw materials and unique processes to maintain the efficacy of natural raw materials, this low sugar and low calorie alcohol free beer was shortlisted for the “best functional beverage” award and “best low / non-alcoholic beverage” award in the 2020 world beverage Innovation Award.


It can be seen that as a product of changes in consumer demand and consumption upgrading, alcohol free beer not only has a rapid growth in the global market, but also ushered in a new period of development in China.
As more and more consumers in the domestic market begin to establish awareness of alcohol-free wine and are willing to take the initiative to consume products with the concept of health but pleasure, how to create “phenomenal” products at this outlet and seize the opportunity to occupy the consumption mind of consumption scenes may be the key opportunity for some beer brands that urgently need to break through the bottleneck to break through.
reference material:
[1] Interpretation of alcohol free beer, trend and judgment, focusing on the new track
[2] Budweiser wants to dry alcohol free wine to an annual sales of 10 million tons, which is equivalent to a China Resources beer. Is this a new opportunity
[3] Imbeer loves beer
[4] Tracking report of beer and beverage industry: high-end wind and rising price tide Everbright Securities
[5] New zero founder Leon: if Yuanqi forest solves the problem of sugar, then we have to solve the problem of alcohol
[6] Two major trends plus “n + 1” scenarios, how the “new zero” of non-alcoholic beer makes consumers “take the lead”
[7] Yanjing beer is new again, but is alcohol free and fruit beer really a good track Xiaoyaozi
Cover source: a rai of light
Reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246);
Join the community: Cherry (micro signal: 15240428449).
Foodaily Expo 2022]
“New food era · brand ecology” 1 Global Innovation Summit, 3 theme conferences and 6 category forums, set 100 + focus topic brainstorming around the top ten hard core topics, and invite 120 + industry business leaders to share ~ (click the picture to see the detailed introduction).

Related reading
Food people are “watching”

Read the original text

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.