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Low and no-alcohol beer sales are soaring in Europe

Low alcohol beer sales are booming in Ireland, Poland, the UK and the Netherlands, according to Ireland’s brewing trade body.

(Photo: Guinness)

Sales of low and non-alcoholic beer increased by 60% In Ireland between 2017 and 2018, to 30,000hlr, according to the Irish Brewers Association (IBA), a category association in Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI).

The figures reflect a similar trend in the UK, where sales of low and alcohol-free beers jumped 28% in the year to February 2019, compared with the previous 12 months.

The report comes after executives from Diageo said they are hoping to develop a non-alcoholic equivalent to its flagship beer label, Guinness.

Many independent brewers are focusing on only producing low and non-alcoholic beers, the IBA said.

This comes after a steady decline in alcohol consumption in Ireland. Since 2001, the average per adult alcohol consumption has fallen by 23.2%, according to the report.

“We may see more independent and craft producers introducing these low and non-alcoholic beers here, or indeed focusing their business solely on this offering, as we have seen in the UK,” Jonathan McDade, senior executive of ABFI, said.

“In Spain, non-alcoholic beer has become popular, accounting for around 12 per cent of the overall beer market, which is very significant, driven by the country’s after work beer and tapas culture.”

“Elsewhere, we also see this trend materialising throughout other countries across Europe, leading to a significant increase in the sale of non-alcoholic beers, including a 33% sales increase in the Netherlands and an 80% sales increase in Poland in 2018 .”

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