Low and no-alcohol beer sees ‘exponential growth’

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Tin star: the report also highlighted the growth of canning in the craft beer market
Tin star: the report also highlighted the growth of canning in the craft beer market
Low and no-alcohol beer has seen a huge increase in sales of 381% since 2017, according to a new report.

EeBria Trade’s Craft Beer Trends ​report found that almost 3% of beers bought, so far in 2019, have been 2.8% ABV or below and half of those have been 0 to 0.5% ABV.

It predicted low-alcohol beer is here to stay and it expects the trend to continue quickly because there is still a way to go to reach the sales levels reached by other countries.

The analysis is based on information on the UK market and the report covered the growth and decline of different beer styles.

Pricing was another area the report looked into and found, for the past two years, prices have risen steadily for craft beer by approximately 2%.

Between 2016 and 2017, there was a rise of 9% but this was likely to have been influenced by the drop in the value of the pound, making imported items such as many hop varieties and kegs more expensive, with this being passed on to the customer.

Can growth

The report discovered a drop in market share of craft beer for traditional styles from 14% to 5%.

Another trend the report highlighted was the growth of cans over the past few years. In 2016, they were less than one fifth (16%) of all packaged craft beer sold but this has soared to represent 72% of the market.

Cans are more popular with consumers too as the breweries that have made the switch from bottles to cans found on average, their rate of sale almost tripled, the report claimed.

Within cans, the larger 440ml can has become the most popular, going from effectively a standing start in early 2017 to more than 40% of all bottles and cans being in this format.

When it comes to beer styles, pale ales and IPAs are the key sales drivers and are responsible for almost two thirds (60%) of all volume.

Sour beer is growing but that is happening slowly. The report stated it would not become a mainstream style but it will still gain some market share.

Fast-moving space

Craft lager sales are generally on the rise, however, it remains a small part of the craft beer sector at just 6% of volumes.

This year has seen a drop off in lager sales but the report said this won’t be for the long term and lager will continue to grow.

It also predicted there will be an impact of many breweries producing craft lagers as we enter the warmer weather, which typically results in a seasonal boost for lager.

EeBria Trade CEO and co-founder David Jackson said: “Craft beer is a rapidly growing area of the beer industry but it can be hard to track what is going on in such a fast-moving space.

“At EeBria Trade we work with more than 600 breweries through our beer distribution marketplace, so have access to an enormous amount of data on the industry.

“It is exciting to be able to identify trends while they are happening and be able to see in numbers what we already believe is happening.”

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