Health and lifestyle factors are driving rapid growth in Australia’s alcohol-free beer sector.

Coopers says sales of the international alcohol-free beer Holsten 0.0% have surged more than 20 per cent in the past 12 months and are set to grow still further as it becomes more widely available through national liquor outlets.

Distributed nationally by Coopers, Holsten 0.0% is brewed by international brewer Carlsberg. Coopers’ marketing manager brewing products, Scott Harris, said Holsten 0.0% was brewed in accordance with the German Purity Law, resulting in a full flavoured premium quality beer.

“However, having zero alcohol means that it can be consumed in situations where people either cannot or do not wish to drink full strength beer,” Harris said.

“These include P-platers who are not allowed to have alcohol in their system, operators of heavy machinery, miners and heavy transport operators, as well as sports people looking for a beer after an event, but who don’t want to consume alcohol.

“Not only is it alcohol free, Holsten 0.0% only has 182 kilojoules per 330 ml bottle, which is about a third of the kilojoules of the equivalent full strength beer (565 kj) and about half as many as “low-carb” beer (454 kj).”

Harris said recent decisions by major liquor retailers around Australia to position Holsten 0.0% in the beer section of the store instead of the no-alcohol section was also having a significant impact.

“More people are now including Holsten 0.0% in their weekly purchase, either to use it as a “spacer” between alcoholic drinks or to consume by itself,” he said.

The increase in sales of no-alcohol beers in Australia mirrors other parts of the world, where no-alcohol beers make up to 13 per cent of total beer sales in some European countries.

“While Australia certainly isn’t there yet, we believe these products will become increasingly popular as they become more readily available,” Harris said.

Holsten 0.0% is sold in 330ml bottles and sells for less than $10 a six pack.

For more information about the lower alcohol sector check out the latest issue of Beer & Brewer, on sale now in newsagents, liquor stores and home brewer shops.

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