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Australia gears up for its biggest-ever Dry July

As the countdown begins to Dry July 2022, there are major winds of change in the air as the zero alcohol category becomes a serious contender for consumer dollars year-round.

According to drinks market analyst IWSR, the value of no- and low-alcohol sales in 10 key markets worldwide – including Australia – last year was just under $US10 billion ($14 billion), up from $US7.8 billion in 2018.

According to market researcher Wine Intelligence, sales of no- and low-alcohol wine in Australia are expected to grow by 20 per cent annually over the next three years, doubling in volume by 2025.

The category has become so sophisticated that Australia’s first wine show dedicated to zero alcohol wine was held earlier this month, the 2022 Winepilot Zero Alcohol Wine Show.

Endeavour Group reports that across its retail stores Dan Murphy’s and BWS, sales of zero alcohol products have grown more than 150% in the last 24 months, with 329 different products now on offer. 

“Zero alcohol products remain one of our fastest growing categories,” said Endeavour Group Director Buying & Merchandise Tim Carroll. “We think it is great that more Australians are embracing drinking less and better, which is why we want to lean in and support this trend.”

During the month of July, sales of zero alcohol products typically double in BWS and Dan Murphy’s.

“The majority of customers first discover the great quality of the new wave of zero alcohol when trying them for specific occasions, such as Dry July, mid-week drinks or if they are the designated driver. Once they have tried them, they keep coming back for more – which is why we keep seeing consistent sales all year round,” Carroll added. 

The popularity of zero alcohol is also booming in pubs, with Endeavour Group’s hospitality arm ALH Group – which has more than 340 venues across the country under its umbrella – seeing an increase in demand of more than 130% in the last 12 months, with beers being the most popular choice of patrons. 

Lion agrees, it says alcohol-free has become the fastest growing segment within the beer category, growing at 62% year on year. Last month it even released XXXX Zero in the Queensland market. Queensland is the largest alcohol-free beer market within Australia, outranking both NSW and Victoria.

Lyre’s becomes official partner of Dry July

Australia’s alcohol-free spirits brand Lyre’s is now worth $500 million after a capital raising late last year, making it the most valuable no-alcohol brand int he world. g

This June and July the team at Lyre’s are on a mission to get Australians signing up for Dry July and fundraising for people affected by cancer, whilst experiencing the benefits from a month off alcohol. Throughout the month of July, 10 per cent of all sales from the Lyre’s website will go to the Dry July Foundation, with additional activity designed to encourage greater participation across the nation.

The annual Dry July fundraising campaign aims to create a better life for people affected by cancer, something Lyre’s are passionately behind already through their McGrath Foundation work. With more than $73million raised by Dry July Foundation to support more than 80 cancer support charities to date, Lyre’s non-alcoholic spirit variants aim to make Dry July simple for anyone participating and raising money.

The Lyre’s x Dry July partnership will be visible throughout the month in-store and online, with the goal of raising as much money throughout the campaign as possible and helping drive more Australians to sign up. The Lyre’s Australian team is also challenging themselves and participating in Dry July, with Co-Founder Carl Hartmann joining in on the effort.

“We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Dry July Foundation, an incredible organisation enabling not only the discovery of benefits a break from alcohol bring, but also delivering meaningful charitable contributions to an array of great causes through their month-long challenge”.

Lyre’s other Co-Founder Mark Livings continued: “We started Lyre’s with a single vision: to change the way the world drinks. Our growing, global success has shown that there’s incredible demand for premium non-alcoholic drinks. We believe it is part of our role to educate and showcase the wide range of options available, with people finding their way to our brand whether moderating, take a break, or stopping with alcohol entirely.”

Lyre’s range of 18 non-alcoholic spirit variants are designed to create non-alcoholic drinks equivalent to the world’s most popular cocktails, meaning you don’t need to sacrifice premium taste or the social drinking occasion when you choose to go Dry. From a classic Dry London to Agave to an Absinthe equivalent, Lyre’s gives bartenders and those playing at home the liquids to create their favourite drinks, sans alcohol. Five ready-to-drink beverages are also available as a convenient option, as well as Classico which pays homage to Prosecco.

“For many, the Dry July challenge is not so much that they can’t do without alcohol, but rather they may feel a little antisocial in a group where everyone else is enjoying a drink. The nice thing about our Lyre’s campaign partnership is that it points participants to a non-alcoholic substitute they can enjoy in a social setting, whilst maintaining their fundraising commitment.” said Dry July Chairman Ian Elliot.

Going alcohol-free for Dry July has never been easier. Sign up to Dry July today and help raise funds for people affected by cancer.

The rise of no-alcohol bars

Earlier this year Endeavour Group opened a pop-up alcohol-free bar called ERO % by Dan Murphy’s, in Melbourne’s Hampton Hill precinct.

Patrons can choose from a menu of more than 30 zero alcoholic drinks to enjoy at the bar, as well as a range of more than 200 non-alcoholic products to shop and take home.  

“Research told us that customers interested in the no-lo category were nervous about buying a whole bottle without trying it first,” Dan Murphy’s chief executive Alex Freudmann told the Australian Financial Review. “A bar was the answer to that: having the opportunity to taste first before buying is like a magnet.”

And it’s been a runaway success, especially when it comes to ordering mixed drinks.

“In our regular Dan Murphy’s stores, beers make up most of the top-10-selling no-lo products,” he says. “In Zero%, six of the top-10 big sellers are cocktails.“

New Dry July releases

Here are just a few of the drops landing in store.

  • A brand new limited edition seasonal release from non-alcoholic craft brewery Big Drop Brewing Co – Woodcutter Brown Ale – is launching late June. The ale is malt-focused with a toasty aroma and soft grassy notes because of the light use of hops. The palate is malty with a touch of fruit and caramel. Pair this beer with something hearty like a good beef stew.
  • Monday Distillery’s latest libation is the Rouge Fizz G&T is a shiraz gin-inspired delight with cherry, black plum, and chai spice. It’s available from 27 June at www.mondaydistillery.com, with RRP $24 for a pack of four.
  • Following the success of Naked Life’s non-alcoholic cocktails range, the company is launching a range of non-alcoholic spirits in 700ml bottles. The range of seven spirits includes a London Dry, Italian Aperitivo, Veneto Spritz, Tennessee Malt, Scottish Malt, Caribbean Blanco and Caribbean Spiced. Learn more
  • Four Pillars Distillery has introduced two zero-alcohol gins to its range, Bandwagon Dry and Bloody Bandwagon. Learn more
  • Canberra-based independent craft brewery, Capital Brewing Co., is introducing its first full flavoured non-alcoholic beer, Alc-Less, to its line-up of award-winning brews.

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