Sales of non-alcoholic drinks in Australia are booming as increasing numbers of consumers choose moderation. And volumes are expected to go through the roof this week as Dry July launches.
According to The Centre for Alcohol Policy Research at La Trobe University, the number of 18-24-year-old Australians who don’t drink has doubled in the past 20 years. And a growing number of drinks companies are innovating to meet this growing market.
The 2021 IWSR Drinks Market Analysis No- and Low-Alcohol Strategic Study shows volumes in Australia increased by +2.9% in 2020. Overall, the no- and low-alcohol market outperformed regular alcohol, which registered a volume decline of -1.4% over the year. IWSR is forecasting that the no- and low-alcohol volume in Australia will grow by +16% 2020 to 2024.
Data from Endeavour Group, the parent company of BWS and Dan Murphy’s, shows sales have increased more than 83% in the past 12 months at its stores.
“The majority of customers are choosing non-alcoholic drinks because they want to moderate, which is a reflection of a broader trend of Australians drinking less but better,” said Endeavour Group’s Head of Merchandise Transformation Bree Coleman (above).
“Many also simply enjoy the taste of the new wave of non-alcoholic drinks. The quality and innovation is quite incredible.”
Both BWS and Dan Murphy’s are expanding their range of non-alcoholic beverages to meet the increase in demand, and Dan Murphy’s will soon boast one of the country’s largest offering with more than 200 different products to choose from with everything from craft beer, rosé and bubbles to craft gin and bourbon.
Beer is the best selling non-alcoholic drink followed by wine.
“Non-alcoholic beer has been around for quite some time, and brewers have really managed to perfect a product that tastes like the alcoholic version,” Coleman said. “Now, we are also seeing a great range of delicious non-alcoholic craft beers explode on the scene.
“Many winemakers have spent the last few years refining methods to make non-alcoholic wines, and many craft the wines as they normally would, and then remove the alcohol, which means the wines have all the flavours, but none of the alcohol,” she added.
Although beer and wine are the best selling non-alcoholic drinks, the sales for non-alcoholic spirits (136% growth in the last 12 months) and premix (968%) are the fastest growing.
“The gin-aissance and the premix premiumisation are trends that are reflected in customers wanting to explore non-alcoholic options in those categories,” Coleman said.
The extended range of 200 products at Dan Murphy’s will be available nationally via online orders, and will be available in 20 physical stores to begin with from mid-July.
The first 20 Dan Murphy’s stores which will have the entire new range in stores are:
ACT: Dickson, Canberra Airport (in August)
NSW: Double Bay, Frenchs Forest, Mona Vale, Casula
VIC: Ocean Grove, Hawthorn East, Richmond, Alphington, Prahran, Glen Waverley
SA: Noarlunga, Glenunga
QLD: Noosaville,The Gap, Middle Park
WA: Kelmscott, Como
“We have chosen these 20 stores because they are the biggest sellers of non-alcoholic drinks, so we think the local customers will appreciate the expanded range,” Coleman explained.
Tips for giving up alcohol during Dry July
Dry July is a fundraiser that encourages you to go alcohol-free in July to raise funds for people affected by cancer. The funds raised provide invaluable services for cancer patients, their families and carers – whether it’s a lift to a life-saving appointment, guidance from a specialist nurse, connection to an informative voice, access to therapy programs or a bed close to treatment.
The Cancer Council has given its top tips for giving up alcohol during Dry July:
1. Don’t have alcohol at home
If you drink at home, consider removing alcohol to lessen the temptation. Either hide them somewhere that’s hard to get to or ask a friend to keep or store them for you during July.
2. Embrace non-alcohol drinks
You don’t have to drink plain water for a month. There are plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives that you can enjoy. Here are some healthy options:
- sparkling water
- water flavoured with slices of lemon, cucumber, strawberries or mint
- herbal tea with no added sugar.
- frappes made with ice and blended frozen fruit
3. Change how you socialise with friends
If you typically catch up with friends over drinks, swap the pub or the bar for something different.
You could do a coffee catch up at the local café or do an activity like playing sports or going for a bushwalk.
4. Prepare for situations where alcohol is on offer
You may find yourself in social gatherings that involve alcohol. There’s no need to decline these invitations. Decide beforehand what you’ll do when the time comes. It could be sticking to non-alcoholic options or simply saying no to drinks.
5. Get support from friends
You’ve probably told your friends and family that you’re doing Dry July to ask them for donations. Don’t stop there. Ask them to support you in your month of sobriety. It’s a lot easier to get through the month when you have a network of people who can encourage you when things get tough.
6. Change your habits
Since it’s winter, you may be spending more time at home. If you typically relax with alcohol, try other activities:
- have an early night
- take a bath
- play board games
- read a book
- watch TV
- call a friend or relative.
During your alcohol-free month, you may have more free time. Fill it with fun activities like going on an outdoor adventure or picking up a new hobby.
You may find avoiding alcohol challenging, but don’t give up. Remember that staying dry for a month is raising vital funds for people affected by cancer. Registrations are still open for Dry July, click here to sign up and join the challenge.