The no/low alcohol drinks market is forecast to grow more than 10 times as quickly as regular alcoholic drinks in key world markets over the coming years, according to a new study by IWSR.

The organisation said that the combined compound annual growth rate for no/low will grow in the markets – which include the UK ­– would be 8% between 2021 and 2025, against just 0.7% for alcoholic drinks.

IWSR said volumes across the markets grew by more than 6% in 2021, while the value of sales came in at just under US$10 billion (£7.3 billion), up from US$7.8 billion (£5.7 billion) in 2018.

The UK saw a volume increase in 2021 of 17% and its predicted CAGR between now and 2025 is 6%.

“While January has become a popular month for people to cut back or abstain from alcohol, interest in no- and low-alcohol drinks has increasingly become a year-round trend among consumers across the world,” says Emily Neill, chief operating officer of IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

“To meet that demand, beverage alcohol companies have invested heavily to introduce a number of innovative new products, and many established mainstream brands have recently crossed over to develop no/low alcohol versions of their popular beer, wines, and spirits.”

Beer and cider is the largest no/low category, with 75% volume share across the feature markets, with alcohol-free beer projected to drive growth at more than 11% CAGR over the 2021-2025 forecast period.

Non-alcoholic RTDs and spirits are both expected to post about +14% CAGR volume growth.

Low-alcohol wine is expected to grow by almost 20% CAGR with no-alcohol wine projected at +9% CAGR.

“The no/low alcohol market is still very much in its early growth stage in many categories and geographies, as the sector continues to define itself,” adds Neill.

“Brands that will ultimately dominate in the no/low space are those that are successful in navigating the barriers of taste, price, pack format, availability and overall consumer education.”  

The IWSR study looked at the no/low drinks market in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the US.