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Festive sales boom for no-alcohol beer

Festive sales boom for no-alcohol beer

Soaring sales of non-alcoholic beer have made it a very merry Christmas for Carlton & United Breweries.

According to a spokesman for CUB, Carlton Zero “has been one of the most successful new product launches we’ve ever had”.

“The biggest sales week in its four-month history was last week, and the second biggest week was the week before that,” the spokesperson said.

According to market research company IRI, monthly sales of non-alcoholic beer in bottle shops have increased up to 10-fold since Carlton Zero’s launch.

“This has been driven by the release of Carlton Zero, which has accounted for the great majority of these sales,” the CUB spokesman said. 

Emily Day, editor of Froth Beer magazine, predicted to the SMH non-alcoholic beer will be embraced by the craft industry in the new year.

“I find it absolutely amazing that Carlton has put ads on trams for their non-alcoholic beer,” she said. “They’re really sitting ahead of the curve. Very few Australian beers are going non-alcoholic.”

Meanwhile, Clinton Schultz, founder of Sobah beers, Australia’s only non-alcoholic craft beer range, sold out in the lead up to Christmas.

“We’ve run dry so we’re brewing between Christmas and new years,” Schultz told the SMN.

The business launched in December 2017 and now sells two hundred cartons per month.

“Historically, non-alcoholic beers have lacked in flavour and don’t have the same legs or the body profile that typical beers have. Usually they’re brewed with less yeast and are watered down,” said Schultz.

The No.1 drinks stories of 2018

The launch of Carlton Zero was the most read story at Drinks Bulletin in 2018, with thousands more views than any other article on the site.

Non-alcoholic is the latest buzzword in drinks, with burgeoning releases and surging sales in both spirits and beer.

Statistics from Euromonitor International’s Alcoholic Drinks In Australia report predict non-alcoholic beer brewing in Australia will quadruple from two million litres in 2003 to 12 million litres by 2022.

According to CUB, Carlton Zero was created in response to a long-term shift in Australia’s drinking habits, with low and mid-strength beers now representing 20% of the brewery’s sales as people increasingly moderate their alcohol intake.

CUB Business Unit President Peter Filipovic said: “We’ve listened to customers who have told us they want more opportunities to drink responsibly but still want a great-tasting beer. So we are re-writing the rules to give people a non-alcoholic beer that actually tastes like beer.”

“Carlton Zero will be promoted to adults and comes as demand for non-alcoholic beer continues to grow in Australia and internationally. While non-alcoholic beer has been available in Australian supermarkets for years, we’re expecting Carlton Zero will shake-up the market.”

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