Close Menu

Molson Coors ‘moving beyond beer’

One of the world’s largest breweries has said it is ‘moving beyond beer’ as young consumers look to different types of drinks, including low- and no-alcohol products.

The statement was made by its CEO Gavin Hattersley, and comes as the Sober October campaign has commenced, with an increasing number of people looking to drink low- and no-alcohol products on a semi-permanent or even permanent basis.

The campaign, to support the charity Macmillan Cancer Support, normally sees tens of thousands sign up for the month long abstinence event, with an even larger pool of people doing it casually — potentially millions of consumer across October.

This year, the campaign has launched an online calculator, which highlights the amount of money saved from not drinking, as it looks to utilise the cost of living crisis and not merely the health benefits of abstinence, against a backdrop of so-called ‘drinksflation’ and higher duty rates.

The UK Government is also currently consulting on a definition of alcohol-free, potentially boosting the ABV to 0.5% from 0.0%, which one brewer told db would help with flavour.

According to the Portman Group, around one in three people are semi-regular drinkers of low- and no-alcohol goods, although the majority of non-drinkers (58%) have never drunk such a product.

But the general movement away from regular consumption of  higher ABV beer has caused one of the world’s biggest brewers to reflect.

“We’re moving beyond beer, we’re moving into ‘non-alc’ products, whether those are energy drinks, whether they’re non-alcoholic beers,” Hattersley told CNBC.

Hattersley said consumers in their 20s are focused on health and wellbeing, and this ‘change in behaviour’ was playing into the company’s overall strategy.

The brewer now includes Miller Lite, Topo Chico Hard Seltzer and Coors Lite within its range, and is launching a non-alcoholic version of Blue Moon in time for the annual Dry January campaign, which is similar to Sober October, and promotes a month-long abstinence from alcohol.

He said as long as it “tastes good” then consumers will drink the products. This year the brewer has also launched a non-alcoholic version Staropramen — one of its most popular beer ranges.

Although the company has attempted to move away from being seen primarily as a brewing operation, even changing its name to the Molson Coors Beverage Co in 2020, it still makes a huge amount of money from beer, and is one of the world’s largest brewers including big brands such as Coors, Staropramen, Carling, Madri Excepcional and Blue Moon.

Across the UK and internationally there were increases in the number of low- and no-alcohol consumers. Welsh drinkers top the chart as most likely to be semi-regular low or no drinkers, with around a third compared to less than a quarter in 2020.

English consumers come in at 32% up from 25%. 29% of Scottish consumers are semi-regular drinkers, up from 27%.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No