Drinkers' healthy lifestyles affecting brewers, report claims

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

New to market: Bud Light was launched into the UK in February 2017
New to market: Bud Light was launched into the UK in February 2017
Healthier lifestyles have meant brewers have had to rethink the image of their products and reformulate them to lower-calorie options, new research from a data and analytics company has found.

According to GlobalData, Bud Light re-entered the UK market​ 16 years after the US brand’s previous launch.

As well as having 27 calories per 100ml, Bud Light has a lower ABV than standard Budweiser, at just 3.5% and the brand claimed the re-launch has been successful so far in attracting a younger audience.

GlobalData consumer analyst Aleksandrina Yotova said: “Some consumers perceive low-alcohol beer as lacking taste and quality.

“This attitude leads to innovation in the sector, in terms of reducing calories without lowering alcohol content.”

Healthy and low calorie

Two years ago, UK-based Skinny Brands launched Skinny Lager, a low-calorie beer made using a special brewing process that removes residual sugars from the drink.

With a 4% ABV, the lager is not low in alcohol, but has a very low carbohydrate content of 2.97g per 330ml.

Yotova added: “More than one third (35%) of UK consumers associate ‘healthy’ with low calorie, according to our 2017 Q4 survey.

“However, this rises to almost half (49%) when looking at 35 to 44-year-olds specifically, and is slightly higher for female than male consumers.

“With a calorie count per bottle of just 89, Skinny Lager​ is bound to attract health-conscious consumers, especially among this age group.”

Millennial audience

Skinny Lager also has gluten-free and vegan-friendly ingredients and it is not alone. GlobalData said a spate of craft beers have claimed such credentials recently.

According to its primary research in 2017, 3% of UK consumers say they follow a vegan diet, rising to 10% for the 25-to-34 age group.

Yotova said: “This highlights Millennials as the consumer groups on the lookout for certified vegan products.

“The same age group is also more likely to opt for gluten-free products. In the UK, 8% of consumers aged between 18 and 34 associate ‘gluten-free’ with ‘healthy’, according to our 2017 Q4 survey.

“This compare to a lower ratio of 5% when looking across all age groups in the UK. Low-calorie, vegan and gluten-free, rather than low-alcohol content, are, therefore, set to be the winning attributes for beer targeting young adults.”

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