Future market: natural enjoyment without alcohol

Consumers are paying more attention than ever before to what they eat and what is good to their body; most of them are looking for naturalness, high-quality ingredients and exceptional taste experiences when are buying food and beverages. In harmony with the consumer´s desire to live longer and have a healthy lifestyle, consumers are looking for products that provide added value for body and mind, taste good and have something special that stand out from the mainstream. This often includes restricted alcohol consumption or the complete absence of alcohol.

While the classic beer gives way to non-alcoholic variants, there are also more and more concepts for wine and spirits without alcohol. Innovative concepts such as brewed soda or crafted lemonades stir up the market and score and they are made naturally and have an authentically bitter taste profile and fewer calories compared to classic soft drinks. In addition to a comprehensive ingredient portfolio, Döhler offers its customers innovative product concepts that play a pioneering role in changing market conditions.
 With our support, you can now host a party without alcoholic drinks!

Alcohol-free is the trend
Alcohol are widely consumed through the world and has been an enjoyable part of social life and celebrations for thousand years. But in the last few years, the global market for alcoholic beverages has shown little growth– by just 0,8 percent anual from 2013 to 2019.  In the same period, non-alcoholic beverages are become more and more popular– with 54 percent in 2019, over half of consumers said they were looking for drinks to find little or no alcohol appealing; in 2018, it was a good 10 percent less.1 

Alcohol sales have taken a dip in large because consumers of generation Z, who are in their early 20s today, are drinking less and plan to drink less alcohol in the future2 and minors are drinking less awell, the alcohol consumption by them has recently decreased by two thirds.3  

As interest in healthier lifestyles continues to grow, consumers are looking for new ways to tend to their well-being and their social life’s, switching from traditionally alcoholic beverages to non-alcoholic alternatives and looking for non-alcoholic versions of beverages that traditionally contain alcohol – such as the “Virgin Mojito”.4  

Accordingly, non-alcoholic beverage concepts should be as similar as possible to alcoholic concepts. The taste, smell, consistency, mouthfeel and color of the alcohol-free variants should hardly differ from the alcohol-containing originals and offer consumers the same enjoyment experience. For example, even in the case of non-alcoholic beers, consumers prefer foaming that corresponds to that of an alcoholic beer.

Production with fermentations, extracts and types
There are more and more non-alcoholic alternatives to traditional alcoholic beverages on the market that resemble the sensory profiles of the traditional variants such as alcohol-free beer, alcohol free cider and wine drinks or alcohol free cocktails.

However, while producing these drinks, manufacturers are often faced with the challenge of finding suitable substitutes for the flavor carrier alcohol that give the products their special sensory profiles. Different taste profiles and nutritional properties are achieved through the use of non-alcoholic fermentations – depending on the processing method from gluconic acid to lactic acid to brewed.

Currently there is a great interest in using botanical extract in Non-alcoholic drinks due to their special flavor, which give distillates an authentic herbal note. Different flavors, extracts and distillates can be used for a variety of applications and cover different flavors such as citrus, garden or red fruits, oak or juniper.

To give spirits a matured profile, bonificators and typages are used.  These mimic the normal aging process in barrels or typify a certain basic taste. The addition of infusions or extracts from oak, green walnut shells, almond shells or plums is used in traditional brandy production in many countries. This range can also be used for other dark spirits and all beverage applications in connection with barrel-stored concepts – such as wine, beer, cider or adult soft drinks

Innovative concepts as a consumer magnet
In this fast-paced world, consumers are looking for drinks and experiences that stand out from the mainstream, remains in their heads and at the same time fits a healthy and sustainable lifestyle - In this context, the consumption of cocktails, long drinks, wine, beer, etc. without alcohol is socially acceptable - which is ultimately also due to the professionalization of the drinks. There is a recently seen double-digit growth of around 20 percent, which means that there is a growth potential here. In addition to spirits, concepts that have a less sweet and at the same time refreshing taste profile are also becoming increasingly popular.

Highly popular: Brewed & Fermented Sodas
The demand for innovation is constant in the beverage market. New labels are coming, and not only are alcohol-free drinks popular but also those that combine various claims like sugar-free and alcohol-free with each other. Against the background of a healthy lifestyle, concepts that do not combine alcohol and less sugar are particularly popular. Around 45 percent of consumers find attractive soft drink concepts interesting as an alternative to alcoholic variants.5 These variants are in demand for carbonated soft drinks with a fruity-tart taste profile and pay particular attention to the less sweet taste profile. 

Consumers remain concerned with the amount of sugar in drinks and they are looking for innovative, sugar-free, functional drinks that offer health and well-being. Brewed & Fermented Sodas are the ideal drinks for adults who want a particularly natural refreshment with less sugar - Fermented fruit juices, malt and tea, such as Kombucha, are used for these concepts. Natural fruit flavors or tart botanical extracts such as ginger bring additional variety. This creates an infinite number of possible combinations and a large variety of unique taste profiles that ensure variety, naturalness and functionality in the beverage market.

As a global partner and source of inspiration for the beverage industry, Döhler not only supplies high-quality natural ingredients, but also a range of exciting concepts for non-alcoholic beverages. With innovative all-in-one solutions, the company creates authentic moments of pleasure that perfectly harmonize taste and modern lifestyle.



1Global Data Consumer Survey
2Global Data Consumer Survey
3foodpeople, drinkswatching september 2019
4Global Data Consumer Survey
5Global Data Consumer Survey


Professional article: Future market: natural enjoyment without alcohol | Source: Die Kleinbrennerei | Edition: 07/2020

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