Canadian Non-Alcoholic Beer Category Accelerating

Millennials are behind the growth in no- and low-alcohol beer, while Budweiser Zero debuts in Canada.

September 18, 2020

TORONTO—Millennials are driving the recent growth of the no- and low-alcohol beer category, according to Budweiser Canada. The brand is introducing Budweiser Zero in Canada to meet the demand. Budweiser Zero debuted in the United States in late July.

According to consumer data, the 19-to-34-year-old age group—which includes millennials and older members of Generation Z—led all demographic groups in consumption volume of non-alcoholic beer. Overall, 64% of no- and low-alcohol beer is consumed by those in the 19-to-34 bracket, with women most often choosing non-alcoholic beer as an alternative to sugary drinks, while men see it as suitable for a variety of social occasions.

But, what's behind this trend? Research shows that it boils down to choice. Consumers—including both men and women in the 19-to-34 group—want more and better options, particularly when it comes to products that complement a balanced, healthy lifestyle.

“Millennials are taking charge of their health and wellness and want a refreshing beer that they can enjoy at any time,” said Mike D'Agostini, marketing director for Budweiser Canada, in a press release.

The numbers tell the story. Between 2013 and 2018, sales of non-alcoholic beer increased by more than 50%, and over the past year, the category has grown 12% in total volume. A Mintel Reports analysis reveals that in the European market, particularly in Spain and Germany, non-alcoholic beers have gained prominence among millennials, who either choose not to drink alcohol or moderate their alcohol consumption by sometimes reaching for no- or low-alcohol beers. That trend has caught on in Canada as well, as a new market of “sober curious” consumers—mostly millennials who opt for alternatives to alcoholic drinks—has emerged.