How To Brew A Non-Alcoholic Beer Brand

While Dry January may now be long gone, consumers are continuing to moderate their alcohol consumption -- or abstain altogether.

Nonalcoholic beer sales grew from $31.8 million in 2023 to $42.7 million in January 2024, according to consumer data company NIQ.

For brewers who see sales stalling out with traditional beers, the growth in popularity of non-alcoholic beers offers glimmers of hope -- with the category expected to grow at a rate of 8.4% annually to a $62 billion market by 2030, according to market research firm The Insight Partners.

Breweries can’t simply hop on the bandwagon, however. Once they’ve sorted out the logistical barriers to entry, they need to mindfully craft a brand that can appeal to their current fans as well as those seeking out new non-alcoholic options.



So what should breweries expect when deciding to get into the non-alcoholic beer space? CPG Insider caught up with Nicole Meyer, a creative director at Periscope, a Quad company, who helped design the Nialas brand of non-alcoholic beers for Minnesota’s Summit Brewing.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

CPG Insider: What do brands need to keep in mind when seeking to tap into the growing popularity of non-alcoholic beers with audiences seeking to moderate or abstain from drinking?

Nicole Meyer: When we started with Summit Brewing, it was a space they had been looking to get into for years, and had worked to develop a product that would stand up to their quality and craft standards. They arrived at an outcome that delivered on taste and quality in the way the rest of their beers did, and wanted to connect with audiences looking for new options – to get the Summit brand in front of folks who maybe weren’t beer drinkers but wanted an option when out with friends.

Working with Summit, we wanted to make sure we weren’t alienating their existing audience, while also leveraging the audience they’d grown to use that equity and make sure the packaging we created fit within their broader lineup. Appealing to current customers as a primary audience, we wanted some of that familiarity to carry over, while also creating something that felt interesting enough on the shelf for someone who wasn’t familiar with the brewery to seek it out.

What went into creating that design, what was the brand trying to convey?

For Nialas, we led with this high-illustration design that we hoped would inspire this sense of adventure or discovery. We identified a target audience and strategy we called the trailblazer –  it's appealing to people who may want to forge their own path or discover something new. The illustration reflects that using a bold color palette, but not so bold that it’s out of line with the Summit master brand. We also wanted to make sure it was clear that it was non-alcoholic, because the last thing you want to do is confuse your customers.

What went into the decision of how to position Nialas in relation to Summit’s brand identity? 

We intentionally created the Nialas brand to be slightly apart from the existing Summit identity so that you knew that Nialas was a product of Summit as a parent – leading with the Nialis name and having Summit being slightly secondary in hierarchy, but not in lockstep.

In my opinion if you have some really good brand equity, and an audience, already, it makes sense to utilize that to some degree –  which is where we had landed, because the brand is very well known in the region and we wanted to make sure that with this lineup people knew to expect the quality and craft that have gone into their products for the past 30 years.

What one piece of advice would you give to brands about entering this increasingly crowded category?

Because the space is growing so quickly and constantly, it's crucial to do an audit of what else is out there. It’s important, because it’s ever-changing.

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