It might not be breaking news, but the demand for no- to low-alcohol beer, cider, spirits, and RTD beverages is on the rise. These drinks have made their way into many bars, restaurants, local groceries, and liquor stores, and are the beverage of choice for many partygoers.
One can speculate that there are a few reasons for this trend in lower-alcohol drinks and why some people have even eliminated alcohol from their diets entirely. Dry January, abstaining from liquor through the month of January, seemingly began this trend of lowering consumption. Abstainers tend to want to focus on their health and avoid the negative effects of alcohol. New beverages touting lower amounts of alcohol are attractive for those looking to consume fewer calories or be able to sip on a drink for longer amounts of time. Producers of these beverages also use their advertising and marketing efforts to target different environments where these beverages can be enjoyed, such as at the pool, outdoor concerts, BBQs, and more.
According to a new research study published by IWSR, no- to low-alcohol beverage products grew by more than +6% in volume in 10 key global focus markets in 2021. Additionally, these products command a 3.5% volume share of the industry. The market value was just under $10 billion, up from 7.8 billion in 2018* The 10 key global markets included Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Spain, the U.K, and the U.S.
With all these new products on the market, we as packaging observers are curious about how these drinks are processed. For example, how does beer go from being a 6% ABV to 0% without compromising the taste of the beverage? We asked the experts at TechniBlend, a leader in beverage processing systems, including deaerators, blenders, and carbonation systems, who are also the pros behind ProBrew. ProBrew specializes in beverage processing equipment for breweries and producers of craft beer, seltzers, and more. According to them, the magic of removing the alcohol is all in the Alchemator.
“The ProBrew Alchemator allows craft brewers and beverage producers to easily separate the alcohol and water from any fermented beverage. By simply adding deaerated water to the remaining concentrate to make full-flavored low-alcohol or nonalcoholic beer or beverage from the original beer, cider, wine, kombucha, and more. The Alchemator incorporates ProBrew’s industry-recognized Plug-&-Play simplicity also found in the popular ProCarb Mini and other ProBrew systems.”
This works the same for hard seltzers. “Available in two different configurations, the Alchemator can pull the alcohol and water from the feed beverage creating a Hard Seltzer base. By adding carbonation and flavoring to the alcohol-water base, you can easily create a crystal-clear hard seltzer or RTD cocktail without compromising your beverage’s unique characteristics. Additionally, the Alchemator has the ability to supply finished beverages directly to packaging (kegging, canning, bottling).”
Fascinating stuff! Learn more about ProBrew by heading to their site here. Additionally, watch the video below to see the ProBrew Alchemator in action.
*Aswani, S. (2022, March 28). No- and Low-Alcohol in Key Global Markets Reaches Almost US$10 Billion in Value. IWSR. https://www.theiwsr.com/no-and-low-alcohol-in-key-global-markets-reaches-almost-us10-billion-in-value/