Non-Alcohol Beer: Preferred By Men, Health-Conscious Women

Beer continues to benefit more than wine and spirits in the expanding alcohol-free space—driven largely by health- and fitness-conscious consumers.

It’s a trend that mirrors the overall “better-for-you” ethos that spans a wide range of CPG categories.

“Our country’s drinking culture is always evolving,” Chris Vaughn, founder and CEO of alcohol delivery platform Saucey, tells CPG Insider.

“Non-alcoholic options are not just about offering an alternative, but about inclusivity, promoting responsible drinking and offering healthier options.”

The rise in consumers seeking non-alcohol beverages has created new marketing opportunities and tactics within the beverage industry, says Anna Crowe, CEO of the Crowe PR agency, whose clients include Skrewball whiskey, Crystal Head vodka and Kove craft-brewed cocktails.

“For instance, we’re seeing more tailored messaging around health benefits, unique flavors, and versatility of non-alcoholic drinks—as well as the experiential aspects of enjoying these beverages,” says Crowe.

From a big-picture perspective, since 2019 beer has led non-alcohol beverage sales with about 89% of the category, followed by wine (10%) and spirits (1%) in retail channels tracked by NielsenIQ.

A 2022 survey by Gallup showed that 50% of male respondents preferred regular, alcoholic beer, compared to 20% of women.

Thus it’s no surprise that men are tapping into the non-alcohol beer options in greater numbers.

“Without alcohol, beer loses some of its appeal for women, who tend to opt for other beverages,” market research and data analytics firm YouGov noted in a recent deep dive on non-alcohol beer.

While men who drink non-alcohol beer outnumber women (64% to 36%), what both genders have in common is a focus on health and fitness.

Asked to rate their personal health, non-alcohol beer drinkers were more than twice as likely (44% versus 18%) to describe their personal health as “excellent,” according to the YouGov study.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of non-alcohol beer drinkers work out more than once a week compared to 50% of regular beer drinkers.

What are some of the best places to reach a non-alcohol-beer audience?

They have a lot in common with drinkers of regular beer as regards their sports interests—with the exception of non-alcohol fans being less interested in football—but divergent in esports.

According to YouGov, 42% of non-alcohol beer consumers watch competitive video gaming compared to just 17% of those who consume regular beer. It’s basically the same for playing video games competitively, at 46% and 18%, respectively.

Podcasting is a very popular advertising medium for non-alcohol beer aficionados—with 41% listening once a day or more versus 18% of regular-beer fans.

That crosses over to social media, because 73% of those who drink non-alcohol beer indicated “A music artist’s social channels are the most important place for me to check in on.”

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