Zero-alc wine isn’t new. At the beginning of the 20th century, Dr Carl Jung, son of a Rheingau winemaker, came up with a way of removing alcohol from a finished wine. Since then, increasingly sophisticated technology has been developed, and the range of non-alcoholic beverages has exploded. Most professionals would agree that beers and vermouth-style drinks have been most successful, followed by the recent arrival of non-alcoholic gins. Wine – especially still wine and more particularly red - has proved more challenging. Some producers have reacted by creating wine-like non-alcoholic beverages using ingredients including grape juice, tea and vinegar. Others are going even further, making drinks that offer a ‘buzz’ with none of the negative effects associated with alcohol.
What is the future of these drinks? How will they be distributed and who will buy them? These are questions that will be addressed at a ProWein World of Zero panel on Sunday19 MARCH 2023 (hall 1 A10).
- While ‘No- and low-alcohol’ is often treated as a single category, most now see ‘no’ and ‘low’ as separate.
- The picture is further complicated by different interpretations being placed on ‘low alcohol’ ranging from 0.5%-1.2% to ‘under 11%’; and on ‘no-alcohol’ ranging from 0% to 0.5%. The OIV is currently discussing this last issue.
- The dealcoholized no-alcohol wine category now also faces competition from beverages sold in wine bottles and made from blends that may including water, grape juice, tea, other fruit juices and vegetable glycerine & functional ingredients as hemp, cannabinoids, electrolytes, adaptogens (Ashwagandha, ginseng).
- Some of these, such as Kylie 0% Rosé, have been commercially very successful, while the Canadian brand, Proxies is served in top US restaurants such as the French Laundry.
(information from IWSR International Wine & Spirits Record)
- No-alcohol is growing faster than low-alcohol in most markets.
- No-alcohol volumes grew 9% in 2022, increasing their share of the overall no/low-alcohol space in the world’s 10 leading no/low markets to 70%, up from 65% in 2018.
- IWSR expects no-alcohol volumes to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of +9% between 2022 and 2026.
- Low-alcohol is expected to grow at a 2% volume CAGR, 2022-26, with much growth driven by the low-alcohol beer and wine categories.
- The world’s most valuable no/low-alcohol markets are Germany, Japan, Spain, the US, the UK and Scandinavia.
- The UK is one of the most dynamic no/low markets, with new product launches continuing apace and growth forecasts outstripping many other countries.
- 78% of consumers of no/low products also drink full-strength alcohol.
- The largest subset (41% of no/low consumers) are classified as ‘substituters’, who choose no/low products when avoiding alcohol on certain occasions.
- Recent recruits to no-alcohol are more likely to be drinking more frequently, suggesting they are motivated by lifestyle rather than necessity; growth is driven both by recruitment of new consumers and greater participation.
- Brand extensions are providing familiarity and reassurance to new consumers. But with stable category growth and large volumes, dedicated no/low brands are strong performers and raise quality perceptions.
- A lot of innovation is focused on functionality: products which are claiming to provide an added benefit, such as the feeling of winding down, added vitamins, etc.
For further information, please click here👇
MEININGER'S INTERNATIONAL editors Anja Zimmer and Robert Joseph in conversation with international guests:
- Irem Eren, DipWSET (Business Development Director, BevZero)
- Gerard Higgins, DipWSET (Portfolio and Innovation Director, We & Wine Sweden)
- Nicole Klauss (Mindful Sommelière, Food Writer, Drink Developer)
“No & low alcohol wine is a way to get younger consumers into wine, who are drinkers of tomorrow. I see it as an opportunity and exciting part of wine´s future. It is not a trend anymore, it is a category which is here to stay, and the market is out there.”
Irem has vast international experience (EU, U.S.), and multidisciplinary background. She is a chemist, holds master´s in international business & marketing, WSET Diploma, is currently studying for Master of Wine. Irem held versatile positions in Wine Industry, from production to sales, prior to her journey in No & Low Alcohol products. She currently is an educator & editor at WSET, and judge at several wine competitions.
"The low/no alcohol space is an exciting new frontier for wine producers. In the Scandinavian markets low/no is already a well established category with a diverse offer shared between smaller producers, no/low alcohol specialist producers and major multinationals.”
Hunter Valley born Gerard Higgins is a sommelier by trade and prior to working in his current role as portfolio and innovation director at we & wine, a leading Scandinavian importer, he has spent 6 years working for Pernod Ricard Winemakers in product innovation and optimization focused toward the three major northern European monopoly markets: Sweden Norway and Finland.
“It's time for adult soft drinks and non-alcoholic accompaniment to become a standard instead of an exception. Wine merchants would do well to expand their range accordingly, restaurateurs and their guests will thank them for it!"
Nicole Klauß completed wine training at the German Wine and Sommelier School and went in search of adult non-alcoholic drinks during her pregnancies. In her first book "Die neue Trinkkultur - Speisen perfekt begleiten ohne Alkohol”, she deals with non-alcoholic drinks and the corresponding pairings. In her second book, she primarily addresses sommeliers and restaurateurs (appearing in September). She gives workshops, is a food writer, keynote speaker and develops alcohol-free drinks.
Editor-in-Chief, Meininger's International
Anja Zimmer is a journalist, media expert and lawyer. Since January 2022, she has been responsible for strategy and content of Meininger's International; she is also a jury member at Mundus Vini. Before that, she worked in various positions in the media industry. She regularly participates in panel discussions and is an experienced moderator.
Meininger's International has just expanded its spectrum to include the drinks market, even though the focus remains on wine. It is a must-read for anyone looking for the best analysis and insights into the wine and beverage industry.
Editor-at-Large, Meininger's International
Apart from his role as industry analyst and regular asker of 'what if?' and 'why not?' questions at Meininger's, and a board member of Mundus Vini, Robert Joseph is co-founder of the best-selling le Grand Noir French wine brand and of an organic brand called Greener Planet. He teaches at various business schools and provides consultancy services to a wide range of companies and organisations.