ST. LOUIS—Budweiser is jumping on the nonalcoholic beer bandwagon with Budweiser Zero, USA Today reports. Anheuser-Busch InBev is taking Bud Zero, a 50-calorie brew with no alcohol, nationwide.
Sales of nonalcoholic beers have skyrocketed 40% in 2020 in dollars and rose 30% in volume, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights. But beer without the buzz only has a 0.4% market share, according to the Brewers Association.
“It’s an opportunity and a challenge, right?” said Eric Shepard, vice president and executive editor for Beer Marketer’s Insights. “Nonalcoholic beers have been around forever, but ... is the world waiting for Bud no alcohol? I guess we will find out.”
Budweiser tapped former NBA star Dwayne Wade to promote Bud Zero because Wade had approached the brewer to discuss a nonalcoholic beer. “We knew we were interested in the space, but it wasn’t until we really spoke with Dwyane,” said Monica Rustgi, vice president of marketing for Budweiser, that the potential “came to life.”
Overall, Anheuser-Busch InBev wants low- or no-alcohol beers be 20% of its total volume by 2025. “We saw ... a big trend and growing space within the [nonalcohol] category. Over the next three years we see this growing significantly,” Rustgi said.
Craft brewers are also entering the nonalcoholic beer market, with at least one, Athletic Brewing Co., focusing only on brews without alcohol. Meanwhile, the industry has been experiencing a shortage in aluminum cans because more people are staying home due to the coronavirus pandemic.