More drinkers going dry and not just for January

Donegal off-licences are seeing an increasing demand for non–alcoholic alternatives not just during dry January but all year round.

Recent figures compiled by Drinks Ireland show that non-alcoholic beer sales in Ireland have more than tripled between 2017 and 2021, from 1.79 million to 5.55 million litres. The market share for non-alcoholic beer soared by 275 per cent during this time.

Charlie McClafferty from Carry Out Letterkenny said they have noticed a big increase in the number of people opting for non-alcoholic alternatives especially during dry January.


He told the Donegal News that Heineken 0.0 has been their most popular non-alcoholic drink. He added that Kopparberg’s alcohol free alternative to their fruity cider and Perla, a non-alcoholic Polish lager have also been popular choices amongst consumers.

Tomas McFadden from Callaghan’s Off-Licence in Churchill said they are also selling a lot more non-alcoholic drinks, not just during dry January but all year round. He agreed that Heineken and Kopparberg’s non–alcoholic alternatives were the most popular choices. He added that Guinness 0.0 was also growing in popularity.

The industry anticipates that non-alcoholic beer will soar in popularity this year and beyond, as Irish consumers seek more balance in their drinking and avail of the growing range of alternatives now available.

Internationally the global non-alcoholic beer category is predicted to grow annually by 8.7 per cent between 2021 and 2025.

Other beer loving countries have embraced the trend. Germany is the largest and most developed market for no- and low-alcohol beer, and its market share is 11.8 per cent of the total beer category.
In Spain, no- and low-alcohol beers have a market share of 10.6 per cent, following an extensive campaign to promote non-alcoholic beers as an alternative beverage for people who are driving.

Cormac Healy, Director of Drinks Ireland, said it is “positive” that consumers in Ireland are seeking more balance when it comes to their drinking.

“Revenue data also shows that overall alcohol consumption continues to fall in Ireland, down by around 33% in 20 years. We see research that young people in particular are cutting back and making changes.


“Drinks producers across the country are responding to growing consumer demand, through innovation and creating these great tasting alternatives,” he said.

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